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Now, later, or never

Every thing you could do — whether it’s starting a new project, saying something you’ve been meaning to say, or performing a task that’s part of a larger effort — is preceded by decision about time: whether to act now, later, or never.

Sometimes the decision is made for you:

You do what happens to be in front of you — responding to the e-mail on your desktop, joining the sudden meeting invite, checking the social media push notification (we’ve all been there).

You do later what happens to be in front of you later — the task you wrote on a post-it that you didn’t see earlier but just now noticed, the phone call that you reflexively take.

And everything else that you forgot and for which there is no means of being reminded of — those things never end up happening even if at one point you knew they were things that you really wanted to do.

If you’re a good story teller you may be able to later rationalize why the things you did now, later, and never were all part of a grander plan. On the other hand, you may consider that your effort has been more a passenger of serendipity than you realized.

You may reflect and decide that a life driven by serendipity is the kind you’re okay with — great.

On the other hand, you may realize that the work and change you’re trying to make is better served by you moving to the driver’s seat and deciding with care and conviction what specifically deserves your attention now, later, and never.

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Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)

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William Liao

William Liao

Taiwanese American, daily blogger of ideas about impactful work in service of others, photographer (ephemera.photography)

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