Postponing Life --What Does Stephen King's Biography Teach?

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Robert Maurer
@robertmaurer
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"Maybe one day, when I have more time, I'll dedicate myself to ..." It is likely that you have repeated this phrase to yourself at a time in your life. In fact, almost all of us have postponed some of our dreams, with the secret hope that more favorable conditions would arise or simply because we have decided to prioritize other activities.

However, Buddha was much more concise (and even dramatic) in this regard: "The problem is, you think you still have time."



Our life is excessively full of "maybe ...", "if ...", "when ...". We are convinced that tomorrow we will be able to make our dreams come true, but today we dedicate ourselves to something else, as if living the "here and now" were just a parenthesis. However, how are we going to make our dreams come true if we don't start working on them right away? This is a mistake, the worst deception we can fall into, since adopting this attitude means letting life slip away.

The truth is much simpler: we have no time other than the present.

The biography of the young Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most prolific American writers of all time. His style may or may not be liked, but there is no denying that he is a successful writer who has written over 70 books, has sold around 350 million copies and some of his short stories have been brought to the big screen. However, few know the story behind its success.

When I was 24, young Stephen King was already married with children. He worked as a teacher, could barely pay the bills and his literary career was at a standstill. He had only gotten to publish a few short stories in various magazines. He had tried three times to publish his first novel and all three times he was turned down.



In his autobiographical book "On Writing: Autobiography of a trade" which I recommend to you by the way, he says:

“I saw myself 30 years older, wearing the same worn coats with patches on the elbows, with the beer drinker's belly sticking out of his pants. I'd have Pall Mall's heavy smoker's cough, thick glasses, more dandruff, and six or seven original manuscripts never finished in my desk drawer that I rarely, almost always drunk, would pick up again to dust them. When they asked me what I dedicated my free time to, I would have replied: to write a book. What does a self-respecting creative writing teacher do in their spare time? Then, clearly, I was lying to myself telling myself that it was not too late, that some novelists had not started writing until they were 50. But what fifty! The 60, damn it! ".

Stephen King realized just then that he would have no more time, he needed a radical change in his life if he wanted to fulfill his dreams and not get stuck in a job that did not satisfy him. So he put his hand to work and wrote "Carrie". The rest is history.

Since then, Stephen King has worked continuously for four hours a day, with the goal of writing 2.500 words.

Anyway, how many manuscripts (in a metaphorical sense) do you have in your desk drawer?

Do you think that one day, as if by magic, your dreams will come true?

If you live by postponing, the day will come when you will no longer have dreams in the drawer, but many regrets in front of the mirror.


5 tips to stop postponing

We often live with a sense of emptiness and / or existential malaise, we have many dreams but we continually postpone them while we repeat the same habits we have acquired over the course of life, as if we were robots. It is as if the gear of the system were turning inexorably to crush us under its weight. This gear represents social conventions, fears, uncertainties ... So it's not surprising that most people end up in a comfort zone where dreams don't fit, a comfort zone that may be comfortable here and now, but which eventually it generates the biggest regrets in life.


How to change and stop postponing dreams?

1. Generates a sense of urgency. As long as you are convinced that you have more time, you will continue indefinitely to postpone your dreams. You need to be aware that time flies and that this is your life, unfolding right now, as you are reading, not some hypothetical future. Seneca gives us a clue: “Consider each day as if it were a life itself”.

2. Imagine your worst future. You probably already have the basics of positive visualization: imagine that you have achieved your goal. However, it is also possible to visualize your worst future, it is not about masochism, but just becoming aware of where your steps lead you. If you continue to live life as you are now, how do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Imagine your life in as much detail as possible and don't forget to apply Murphy's Law to every dilemma: "If something can go wrong, it will." If you don't like what you see, now is the time for a change.


3. Get out of the comfort zone. We tend to prefer a comfortable hell to a heaven that requires a lot of work. Once we have found our comfort zone, we lock ourselves in and lock up our dreams in a drawer. It is not about jumping into the void without a parachute, but you can start moving in small steps to expand that comfort zone more and more and get closer to your goals. You will always be left with a little fear and uncertainty, but gradually you will learn to manage them and soon they will no longer bother you.

4. Get rid of the garbage. We live in a society that constantly demands our attention through things that are nothing more than mere distractions. These things are like little grains of sand that can slowly damage or block the gear of your life. So, an important step in making your dreams come true is to learn to focus on the essentials, changing habits that don't bring you anything and eliminating emotional junk. By doing this you will not only gain more time, but you will also feel less stressed and can focus on what really matters to you.


5. Get started. Every great journey begins with the first step. Do not use excuses to postpone your dreams because they have always existed and will continue to exist, there will always be problems and the time will never be right. Start changing a bad habit today, permanently eliminate an unnecessary distraction and plan a goal that really motivates you and will enrich your life.

Time flies! Don't waste it because it is your most precious asset.

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