Why Not Now?

Jun 21, 2024

A few weeks back, I had a conversation with one of our investors at Jamie, Bjoern Keune, about something I wanted to do in the future. After sharing in great detail what I wanted to do eventually and pointing out when I believed was the perfect time, Bjoern asked me one simple question: why not now? As simple as it seems, there's a profound point I took away from this.

The problem is that when making plans about the future, humans tend to delay them until they've reached some condition. Plans and goals often follow the template of "when I reach x, then I can finally do y".

I would call this a conditional thinking bias. For some reason, we are attached to the current version of ourselves, to the past, and expectations around us, that we start putting off the things we want to be doing based on some arbitrary condition. This, in our minds, justifies the misery and suffering we go through because there's something worth suffering for: a brighter future.

The issue is that most of these conditions we believe we must meet before doing what we want are not grounded in reality. If your life depended on it, you would find a way to do the thing you want without having met the conditions you set for yourself.

The useful question to unpack this is: why not now?

Once you start thinking about this and go through the (arbitrary) reasons you've made up, you often find that the future you're waiting for is within reach. You just need to let go of the conditions you've set to feel you have the right to be happy. Certainly, it's easier said than done in practice. But this simple question can lead to profound insight into yourself and your life.

The life you want to live is closer than you think if you remove the conditions you've fabricated in your mind. It requires detachment, courage, and self-control. Why not now?