Don’t Wait for Something to Happen First Before You Fulfill Your Dreams


“After I __________, I’ll ____________.”

Fill in the blanks.

“After I get married, we’ll buy a house.”

“After I retire, I’m going to travel.”

We’ve all done it. But tomorrow is not guaranteed.

My brother-in-law, John, taught me not to wait to fulfill my dreams. John worked out almost every day and had a very physical job. He was one of the healthiest people I knew. Then the headaches started. Like most guys, he didn’t like to visit the doctor, but my sister insisted. The doctor put him on headache medication.

When medication didn’t solve the problem, he went back. The diagnosis? Stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme brain cancer. John was 48 when he was diagnosed and died about 18 months later. That’s when my philosophy changed. I kept putting things I dreamed of doing off until….whatever. That was about 10 years ago. The following year, I traveled to Africa.

The time to live life is now. That doesn’t mean I don’t take care of paying my bills or saving for retirement. It means that if my dream is to travel, I begin going to places I can reasonably afford. The next city, the next state, the next country.

A lot has changed in the last 10 years. My sister is remarried to a wonderful man. John’s grandsons, who he never met, are playing basketball and will soon attend middle school. I’ve traveled to a number of countries and visited several continents, including Antarctica.

I think of him often. John changed my life in a number of ways, but most importantly, inspired me not to put off living my life. I miss you, John.

Are there dreams you are putting off until you can fill in the blanks? In some small way, can you take a few steps forward?

Cathy Chester

My life is in such a spot right now. I want to move and we can’t. Son in school. Aging parents. We keep saying tomorrow. Tomorrow isn’t coming too soon.

What a lovely post, and a strong message for TODAY. Thank you for writing it.

Best always~

Tim Havenith

Thank you for sharing this with us. I think your philosophy is fantastic. Everyone wants the ‘big’ thing right now, but doing the bits that you can afford or that are currently attainable is a wonderful part of the journey. And, as they say, it’s the journey and not the destination that truly matters.


Your plate is so full, Cathy. I hope you can find a little time in between all the chaos for some you space.


Thanks, Tim. While I usually think of patience as a four-letter word, I’m mellowing. Taking it a little at a time helps me appreciate things more.

Aussa Lorens

Auh, yes. A kindred spirit. I’m right there with you on doing things and going after what you want– though I certainly have my cowardly moments. I’m trying to think of what it is I’m putting off “until”… Probably just the fact that I am putting off the effort required to be successful with writing. That always seems to be something that’s going to magically happen in the future, to a magical future me.


It’s such a tough decision, Aussa, deciding when to go after things like crazy and when to take it a step at a time and let things develop. Different situations require such different responses. I think you are a wonderful writer and the magic is going to come in a big way. Get your seatbelt on!!

Kathy @ SMART Living

You have such a powerful, real-life experience to show you that putting off our good is not in our best interest. Thank you for sharing it. I also believe that we have tremendous influence over the direction that our lives take and it sounds like you are well on your way. As Peter Drucker says, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Kathy

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