The Problem with Idealism.


We read blogs because we want to learn, we want to be entertained, we want to be inspired and motivated by others to take action in our own lives. Whatever your reason is for reading Life Without Pants, thank you, I’m glad you’re here.

But frankly, I’ve grown tired of the vast number of authors out there who share in one collective message – one mantra to live by – one key to success:

“Do it now.”

“Now” is a very relative idea. One person’s “now” is another’s “impossible”. And while I respect and admire the confidence and idealism in dropping everything to do that one thing you’ve always imagined with reckless abandon, understand that your “now” may not be right now.

You don’t need to turn in your notice at work today. You don’t need to travel to a new place tomorrow. You don’t need to be working from the beach next week. All of these may sound perfect and if the time is right for you, then by all means, go do it. But don’t let anyone else convince you that you’re failing if you stay put right where you are. Sometimes, more often times than not, continuing with what you have right in front of you is the best decision you can make.

My generation, “Gen Y”, is especially keen on jumping from one thing to another. This job to that one. That relationship to this other one. This city to that city. We hop around a ton and often don’t give what we have in front of us a fair shot.

Your life can, but doesn’t have to, and doesn’t usually change in an instant.

In short, the idealistic belief that you can, at any time, completely change your personal and/or professional life, is a hoax. That advice doesn’t take into account the bills you have to pay, the family you have to support, or the fact that where you are right now might actually not be that bad.

Can you change everything? Sure. Should you? Maybe not. This isn’t a plea to hold you back, but simply, a word of advice to be smart about those leaps of faith, and to be “ok” with being right where you are, especially in a world that pushes for change and instant gratification.

Life is short, and I’ll be the first to say that if you aren’t happy where you are in life, then you should stop complaining and do something about it. Every single one of you reading this has the capacity to be doing what you want to be doing, what you love doing, what you’re passionate about – but there is nothing wrong with making smart, calculated decisions.

Real life comes with real obstacles. Rent to pay. Kids to support. Jobs to keep. Plans to maintain. Don’t let these things keep you from doing what you want to and should be doing, but don’t let the idealistic rhetoric of the internet and pop culture convince you that where you are, right now, today, isn’t enough.