Transcript

So when I work with folks who have begun to direct their attention towards making big changes in their lives, at some point, they will usually say something to me like:

“Ah, look, Owen, um, all this stuff is taking up lots of time, money and energy and, um, some of it’s wonderful but some of it’s painful and stressful and uncomfortable, and if I knew exactly how long this would take, I’d feel better. So I just want to know…“

“How long is this going to take?”

1. I don’t know, but what are you going to do while you’re waiting?

Are you going to suffer, or are you going to be happy and comfortable and enjoy yourself anyway until that great day comes when you get what you want?

“How long is this going to take?”

2. It depends.

3. It depends how bad you want it.

4. It depends how fast you can make the right mistakes.

5. It depends how fast you can learn new stuff about yourself.

6. It depends how long it takes you to remember what you need from your future.

“How long is this going to take?”

7. In a year from now, no matter what you do, things will be different.

There’s a quote that I like from The Last Psychiatrist which goes something like:

Every choice you make influences your identity, and not the other way around. So you get to pick who you are. Go pick.

“How long is this going to take?”

8. The rest of your life, so you might as well enjoy it.

And if you never give up, you’re guaranteed to be successful.

“How long is this going to take?”

9. What is “this”?

How will you know when you’ve got it? Are you going to get a medal? Will an alarm sound? Will you be applauded? Is there some test you’re going to pass?

When you’ve got what you want, what do you imagine will be different?

“How long is this going to take?”

10. How long is this going to give?

“How long is this going to take?”

11. How short is this going to take?

“How long is this going to take?”

12. How long is this returning to take?

“How long is this going to take?”

13. How long is it going to take for you to understand that you may already have what you want, and that there’s nothing to do and nowhere to go?

“How long is this going to take?”

14. No one cares.

“How long is this going to take?”

15. So, good news and bad news.

The good news is: if I had a degree in predicting the future, I’d be able to tell you.

The bad news is: I don’t have a degree in predicting the future.

The good news is: if I had a crystal ball, I’d be able to tell you.

The extra good news is: I used to have a crystal ball, stuck up my ass, which I used to be very certain about everything that was in the future.

The bad news is: I removed it.

So you’re out of luck.

“How long is this going to take?”

16. What makes you so sure that it’s inevitable that you’ll get what you want, that you’ll end up where you want to be?

Do you think that all you have to do is keep showing up and get an ‘A’ for attendance and then the magic happens?

What if you never get what you want? Is that ok? Can you be comfortable and happy and awesome in the certain knowledge that you’ll never get what you want?

“How long is this going to take?”

17. This question is really “What price am I willing to pay to get what I want?” and there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is: you can have anything you want if you’re willing to pay the price.

The bad news is: we never know in advance what the price is.

If the price was a dollar, would you pay it?

Yes, that’s a very small price to pay, you could afford the risk, even if it didn’t work.

What if the price was a trillion dollars, would you pay it?

No, you haven’t got a trillion dollars, you can’t pay that price.

What if the price was to cut off one of your hands, would you pay it?

You get to choose. You have a hand to cut off.

What you have to do is just keep on paying until one of two things happens:

1) you get what you want, yay! Or,

2) you decide that the price you’ve already paid is too high and you’re not willing to pay any more and you’re not going to get what you want. And now you have a new choice: whether or not you want to make it ok that you’re not going to get what you want.

“How long is this going to take?”

18. Buy the ticket. Take the ride.

“How long is this going to take?”

19. I don’t know.

“How long is this going to take?”

20. Well, I used to believe in trouble and I used to believe in pain but now I believe there’s nothing left but running here again.

I don’t believe in trouble, I don’t believe in pain, I don’t believe there’s nothing left but running here again. I don’t believe in promise, I don’t believe in chance, I don’t believe you can resist the things that make no sense. I don’t believe in silence, ‘coz silence seems so slow, I don’t believe in energy, the tension is too low. I don’t believe in panic, I don’t believe in fear, I don’t believe in prophecies, so don’t waste any tears …

Believe (RUN LOLA RUN)


start small


For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

Alfred D’Souza


who's a good boy

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.

Ray Cummings


Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway.

Earl Nightingale


ships in harbour


It’s not about time, it’s about choices. How are you spending your choices?

Beverly Adamo


bendy clock

Life is short. And life is long. But not in that order.

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (Zenosyne)

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