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Ella and I were watching TV yesterday. She looked at me and said,

“Dad, you’re going to be 99 years old and realize you didn’t do anything.”

Crap. I didn’t realize I needed a pep talk on a Sunday afternoon, but she certainly gave me one.

We were talking about all of the things that I wanted to do someday. Traveling, seeing friends and family more, flying airplanes, golfing, starting another company, podcasting, volunteering, reestablishing my faith, and everything else.

The list gets longer as the time I have left to accomplish everything gets shorter.

And with one sentence, Ella reminded me what’s important. Action.

It’s easy to talk about things, and even easier to “plan ahead” or “wait for a better time.”

But waiting for perfection isn’t perfect. Progress is perfection.

Every groove can turn into a rut

Since selling Forge3 a few years ago, I’ve been workless. And as planned, my energy has gone mostly into the family, which I’m pretty much running like a business at this point. Color-coded calendars with reminders, alarms, to-do lists, and logistics that would make FedEx jealous.

Things are humming here at Teschke, Inc. We’re in a groove, baby!

But none of this logistical magic matters in the end. I know that. You know that. Ella knows that.

As a former colleague once reminded me, every groove can turn into a rut.

Complacency kicks in. The status quo becomes the new normal. Life goes on. Time slips by.

It’s safe in my head

I was talking with one of the companies I mentor the other day. Matt, the founder, said something that totally hit home for me.

He said that he’ll sometimes delay doing something because he doesn’t want to mess up the way he sees it playing out in his head.

Yes! Me too, Matt!

In the safe confines of our minds, we have control. We can expect that everything will go exactly as we think it will. I’m guessing this is especially true for optimistic thinkers like Matt, me, and perhaps you, too.

But as soon as we take action and inject our thoughts and dreams into the world, reality gets in the way. It messes things up and forces us to change what we thought would happen.

And it often shows us that our initial expectations were wrong.

And nobody likes being wrong.

Step one

For me, sometimes the hardest part is starting, especially when I think something’s going to be hard or full of unknowns. The “what ifs” get in the way of taking action. I need to work on this.

I often say that momentum is the biggest key to success in life. And the only way to get momentum is to get started.

Shovel coal into the steam engine. Push the snowball up the hill. Take the first step of the marathon.

If you’re anything like me, you have a lot left to do.

We need to get going.

Jeff Teschke Signature