Sunday Snippet: Hugh Laurie on Timing

“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

Oh, I can’t travel to Japan just yet. I’ll do that when I’m retired. Oh, I can’t take a photography class right now. I’ll do that after I’ve had some more practice. Oh, I can’t start my own blog or write my own book. I’ll do that after I’ve come up with a better idea or when I’ve found the WordPress theme I want to use.

Excuses. These are all excuses.

If you decide to wait around until the conditions are just perfect and you have all your ducks in a row, you’re never going to accomplish anything. You’ll just wait. And nothing will ever get done. This is applicable to just about every aspect of our lives, from our careers to our love lives, from our hobbies to our home improvement projects.

While it would be imprudent to hurl yourself at something without first assessing the situation, it is also impractical to “wait until you are ready” before you give it a shot. Time is an incredibly precious and truly non-renewable resource. Life is too short to wonder what could have been.

Best known for portraying Dr. Gregory House on the appropriately named TV show House, Hugh Laurie feels that true readiness is nothing more than an illusion. None of us are ever truly ready to tackle anything; we just have to choose to do it. You just have to do what you love, even when the “doing” is hard and the circumstances are far from ideal.

After playing a misanthropic genius of a diagnostician for nearly a decade, Hugh Laurie has since shifted much of his focus to music. Blues album Didn’t It Rain (2013) was very well received, even if it didn’t land him the same kind of widespread attention as his work on television. And that’s okay. Because he decided that now was the time to pursue another passion.

It was once said that done is better than perfect, so you may as well just do it. It might not be your best work, but at least you can say that you got it done. Sometimes, that’s enough.

Image credit: Antonio Thomás Koenigkam Oliveira