What would the immortal bard say about your excuses?
I was talking to a student the other day about why they were behind on their five year plan.
“I’ve just been very busy.”
“Well, it’s five years of your life, not mine.”
“No, things have just been really busy. The kids had a swimming carnival, then the hubby’s parents parked their caravan out the front for a couple of weeks, and then I think I maybe had Covid for a bit there…”
“You maybe had Covid?”
“Or a head-cold. It’s just hard to tell these days.”
When I hear stuff like this, I often go to the example of Shakespeare.
Before he was 21 years old, William Shakespeare and his wife had brought three kids into the world.
When he was 25, while the brood was still young, he started churning out literary masterpieces, pumping them out at a steady and phenomenal rate.
By the time he became a grandfather at age 43, he had written many of the works that ultimately made him one of history’s most famous authors, and the bane of high-school students for centuries.
So you know. Go talk to Shakespeare about “busy”.
And true, life was different then. And Shakespeare did have the luxury of probably saddling all of life’s domestic duties on to his wife.
But while it was easier in some ways, it was probably harder in others. No running water, no word processors, no washing machines, no Netflix.
The point is that life is as busy as we let it be. And busy is only as much of an excuse as we let it be.
And I’m not saying that you should be comparing yourself to Shakespeare at the same age and thinking, “Gee, I really should have done more with my life.”
That’s not the point. Shakespeare had incredible talent, but a lot of it was right place and right time. The right historical factors lining up in the right way to make the man who he was.
But the point is that we often look at successful people, and assume that their background lives are easy.
We assume that they never had day-jobs to hold down, or family to look after, or kids to raise, or bills to pay, or armies marching towards them from the South.
But they did.
They’re life was just as busy as yours. It was probably busier.
But they just didn’t let it distract them. They didn’t let busy get in the way.
And look, it’s all good if you want to let the busy in. Swimming carnivals and visiting in-laws make life rich.
But it is totally up to you if you let those things distract you from your path.
And you only have yourself to answer to. You’re the one that’s going to be waking up in five years and thinking, “Gee, I’m right where I was five years ago.”
So it’s up to you.
Busy, or not too busy.