w: ajleon

The Paralysis of Waiting

On this very day, 6 years ago, I left everything I had ever known – a successful career, a corner office, a compliant life. I left it all at the altar of what would have been a career changing promotion.


Because in one brief moment of audacity, I recognized that this Life was mine, and that it was my one and only.

On the eve of a decision to begin life as a nomad, I was petrified.

And so in early 2008.

I sat down and penned a letter to myself from the future Me. The braver Me. The adventurer. The artist. The entrepreneur. The guy nomading around the world, and making things happen.

I entitled the letter, The Paralysis of Waiting.

And I believe it may be a poignant thought for you at the dawn of this New Year.


There are few things on this earth more dangerous than waiting.

Waiting for the perfect time to launch. Waiting to have enough money to start. Waiting for your friends to think you can. Waiting for some blogger or regional manager or magazine editor to notice. Waiting for God to increase the hours of the day. Waiting until the kids graduate. Waiting until you’re out of debt. Waiting for your dad to believe in you. Waiting for the boss to say it’s fine. Waiting for a case study to prove that it’s worth it. Waiting for retirement. Waiting to be chosen. Waiting to be validated. Waiting for a sign.

The obvious problem with waiting. Paralysis. The nothingness that comes with not trying.

The not-so-obvious problem with waiting. The more you do it, the better you get at it.

You want to know the truth? I’d rather slip backwards than stay put. Because at the very least I’m learning something for my next step up. And that something is usually more valuable than what I would have learned by doing nothing at all.

This is not a rant. I mean it. It’s overwhelming.

Think of all the art that has yet to be created and all the web applications that have yet to be built and all the music that has yet to be written and all the dishes that have yet to be tasted and all stories that have yet to be told … because somebody, somewhere is waiting.

So, what are you waiting for?

Your Fellow Misfit,


Ps – Here is a video of me reading this letter aloud to an audience in South London a few weeks ago. Filmed by the amazing folks at TETV

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