“La molesse est douce, et sa suite est cruelle.”

“La molesse est douce, et sa suite est cruelle.”
Translation: Idleness is sweet, and its consequences are cruel.

Attributed to John Quincy Adams, in his diary.  Unverified.

I read that quote and something occurred to me: I am successful not as the result of luck or chance, but because when others talk about writing books, I’m am in my office putting pen to paper, crafting a manuscript.  While others talk about starting businesses, I’m getting licenses, permits, and regulatory filings prepared, approving vendors, and reviewing budgets.  And while others say, “Someday, my ship will come in,” I have already long jumped off the cliffs and am swimming full speed toward the boat, gun-on-back so I can take it over when I climb aboard (battered and bruised, perhaps, but still alive).

Everyone always says they are going to do something, “someday”.  Someday doesn’t exist.  There is only today.

That begs the question: If you want to do something, why not today?  Plans without deadlines are nothing but fanciful dreams.

You cannot pay today’s bills with tomorrow’s dreams, but you can pay for tomorrow’s reality with today’s work.

  • Jacob Mast

    You are stepping on my toes! 🙁 What can I say; what I have to do is keeping me from doing what I want to….children to raise, bills to pay. But I do have some laid aside for investing, I’m still working on educating myself before I take the plunge.

  • Jacob,

    Don’t mistake being prudent and starting small with not doing anything. You’re not the type of person I’m talking about. (Believe me, I know how you feel though: When I first started out, I had to remind myself to not, “despise the day of small beginnings” all the time.)

    I’m talking about people who say they are going to write a cookbook for 20 years, yet never sit down and just start writing. Or people who say that they are going to quit their job at the cement plant and become a lawyer, yet never enroll in night classes to start making the transition.

    Warren Buffett summed up my point beautifully: At some point, investing (or any endeavor) is like sex. You can read about sex in books, you can watch it on videos, you can hear about it from friends … but at some point, every actually *does* it and *doing it* is a very different experience than all of the book knowledge in the world.

    So many people in my own life (including close friends and family) are waiting for their “ship to come in” and refuse to *JUST DO IT*. Some of them are broke and effectively bankrupt, but won’t leave their dead-end job even though they have nothing else to lose (they are already going to have to take the nuclear option!). Others are so stubborn they won’t accept any type of work other than the “perfect” job so they sit at home all day watching television and collecting government benefits.

    For their own sakes, I want to scream at them and say, “Just go do it!” I am not in any way advocating jumping before looking or shirking responsibilities as a parent. After all, my parents went through what you did. They had four kids to support, bills to pay, and almost nothing left over. They had to keep their outside jobs as they started their company, which ultimately produced a lot of wealth for them after 10+ years of a lot of hard work.

    The fact that you are educating yourself means you have a better chance of succeeding than most.