LearnDon't waste time


Ryan Carson
writes on October 22, 2007

During my 1-hour quiet/meditation time this morning, I was thinking about how short life is. It’s shocking really. So I drew a little sketch that would help me visualize how much time I’ve got left. I know it sounds a bit morbid, but oh well.

(Here’s a larger version)

Stop Doing Stuff You’re Not Passionate About

That about sums it up. If you’re educated and wealthy enough to be reading this blog (which is true as you’re reading a computer screen), then you’ve got a massive advantage in life. You have the power, the wealth and the education to actually choose what to do with your life. Most of the population of the entire world doesn’t have that ability. You and I are lucky to not be fighting to stay alive day-to-day.
So if you’re not doing something that you believe in – something you can be passionate about – then do something for me.


I mean it.

That’s one thing I love about what we do at Carsonified. Our primary aim is to unite, encourage and equip people. We want people to walk away from our events smiling and excited about the future. I LOVE that. It gets me out of bed in the morning.

Do it today

I don’t mean to over simplify, but sometimes you have to in order to spark change. If you’re not excited about what you do for a job – change it as soon as you can. Take that first step, whatever it is, towards doing something you love.

Life is just too short.


Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Get Started

0 Responses to “Don't waste time”

  1. I’m not sure that this be the solution. Whatever you work, you can find your passion elsewhere, even if you cannot spend much time for it : it is not a question of quantity, but quality.


  2. you are so right! Thank you for this great post and inspiration in all your projects!

  3. I can’t stand the linearity of a straight line because from here to there takes you to anywhere.

    I am not negative but I guess I would get sudden cardiac arrest and die somewhere befoe finishing drawing my own life line, yet I do share your point, count your blessings and yes there is no linearity in the phrase “Do something you love…”

    I don’t know how to draw my age and I don’t know how to draw my love, but I if I am to focus on the line I would replace the “n” in line with a “f” or even better, with a “v”.

    Thank you for providing the space to reflect and write what are ironically still lines. Yes, that’s right, I can’t stand what I’ve just written because love is not contained in the written words, it is in ones own actions.


  4. i love your philosophy, i’ll do it !

  5. Thanks for all the kind words everyone! 🙂

  6. Congratulations Ryan… for being pregnant 😛

  7. Congratulation on the baby. 🙂

  8. “2) I wasn’t treating ‘Have a baby’ as a milestone. Gill (my wife and co-founder) is pregnant! 🙂 So it’s already happening.”

    That is such great news! Congratulations to both of you!

    I think the one thing I’ve found is there never seems to be a right time to have a baby with regards career.

    I want a family very much, have since I was about 18, but there’s always a new exciting path opening up in my career that makes me too scared to take a couple of years out.

    In our fast moving industry, I’m worried that say, 2-5 years out solid, plus another few working part time will mean I’ll never be at the top of my game, such as running my own business. Which is one of my ambitions.

    But then as Sam (Michel) pointed out to me the other day, when will I be satisfied? Seems to me every ambitious and career minded person I’ve met never feels they’ve got far enough, yet. There’s always one more job to do, person to work with, or path to go down.

    I’ll be interested to read how you two both juggle parenthood and fantastic careers, I can use you as my inspiration 🙂

  9. Oh, congratulations on the great news that you are having a baby! You’ve got some joyful (and some cranky) days ahead! 🙂 Best wishes.

  10. “I cannot afford to waste my time making money”
    – louis agissiz

    serendipity/google search
    lead me here
    don’t know how or what u guys are up to
    and it doesn’t matter

    Time is limited.
    What we ALL should be doing is making a LIFE,
    not make a living.

    STOP, take stock
    We’d ALL be suprised with what we are BLESSED with.

    Those who have more CAN do more.


  11. Good advice, it struck a note. I need to make time for meditation as you do, actually we all should. I bet it does wonders for stress which is affecting everyone around me…

  12. Wow, this really brought out a lot of comments!

    Well I made the jump from one of those soul-killing jobs and although I still think it was the right thing, it is tough. Good thing I had saved a few pennies.

    Still, your post inspires me and I wont give up yet…

    Tracy from above. Your story is ALOT like mine. Be wary of the games industry. I started there, had a small company there, joined another company there (I love games) but am now getting away from it.

    There seems to be a higher level of nonsense and BS in games industry than any other business I have been involved with!

    To all of those who take the plunge I tip my hat and give a wink!
    Good luck to us all!

  13. I was talking with my boss (strange to say “boss” after having been self-employed for 6+ years) the other day, and commenting on the fact that I haven’t been a guy to look at the clock at 2pm wishing for the end of the day in years. Probably in 6 years. Not once can I recall it happening. I wish I could spend more time with my new baby, or with my wife, son, running shoes, pool, etc., but I don’t wish to be away from my job.

    Actually I stay up late because I love what I do. I want my ventures and companies to succeed, whether or not they are owned by me. I want my clients to thrive. I seriously love what I do.

    Kudos to all you who feel the same way. God bless you who don’t. Ryan’s right, chase your dreams, because we live in places where dreams are possible. You don’t have to throw dynamite into the ocean waiting to see if fish float to the top to find out if your family is eating today. Count your blessings, folks.

  14. I did this last year. I was in a dead-end job and had a little saved up, so I quit. I went on vacation for a bit, then got a job in a new field that hopefully holds much more potential for advancement, and that also pays me over $10,000 more than I previously earned. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses, but quitting my last job — even without something else lined up — was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  15. Ryan

    Congrats on the baby

    You are right about life being too short to not be lived fully.

    You are almost only getting started though from my perspective of being 20 years further down the line…and my youngest one will not be in college for another 11 years or so.

    As for doing what really fulfill us, even some very educated people keep doing things they do not like because they are ‘prisoners of their lifestyle’.

    Who really needs a $400 I Phone, expensive cars, homes, gadgets and all?

    Can being less consumed about consuming give us more freedom to roam and pursue things we care about?

    Take care


  16. Thanks John, Mark and Lucian 🙂 I can’t wait to be a Dad!

  17. Congrats on the coming kiddo! He or she will be climbing up the coffee table and tearing that little sketch you just made to shreds. 🙂

  18. Congrats to you both on the sprog! Now does this mean in 2008 there’ll be a FOP (Future of Parenting) conference? 😉

  19. Congratulations on the baby, Ryan. It’s the best thing in the world having children.

  20. That’s quite a co-incidence because I’ve often visualised my entire lifespan as a ruler and reflected on where I am along the scale – just like your drawing. Sadly lots of people don’t even make it past the halfway or the retire mark.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  21. Agreed – doing the things that matter in life. Everyone’s priorities (stuff that really matters) are different – we just need to understand these things. It’s time for a new challenge and a new job that I wake up for.

    Thanks Ryan – I’m glad I’ve ‘stubbled’ across your post.

  22. I wish it was this easy …

  23. @Jason – Thanks! 🙂

  24. What I’m taking from this post is… Many CONGRATULATIONS Gill and Ryan – what great news on Carson Jr!

    Now get as much sleep in while you still can 🙂

    All the best,

  25. Quitting for a better lifestyle/job is a good thing if you are oppressed or being harmed by what you do. But let me assure you, that even when you quit and follow your dream there will be dissapointment and all the same old s**t just in another form.

    I wasn’t saying you can escape disappointment by changing jobs. I was pointing out the fact that everyone reading this blog has enough wealth and education to change to a profession that they can truly be passionate about. It’s about passion, not minimizing pain.

  26. Thanks for all the feedback. Couple thoughts:

    1) I wasn’t necessarily saying everyone should quit their job and start their own company. I was just pointing out that you can quit your current job and try to find a new one that you can be passionate about.

    2) I wasn’t treating ‘Have a baby’ as a milestone. Gill (my wife and co-founder) is pregnant! 🙂 So it’s already happening.

  27. Your timeline might provide a more accurate visualization if you included all the years up to this point. Then it becomes clear how little (or how much, depending on your outlook) time you have left.

  28. Check out the Steve Jobs Standford Graduation speech. Similar message.


  29. Good post. I would adjust the moral only slightly:

    Make a plan. Save a bit. Then quit.

    Leaving the (relative) financial security of full-time employment, however dull it may be, is a bold thing – you’ll feel heaps better about it once you know you have a definite goal and a small amount of cash to pay the bills during the transition.

    Leaving my 9-5 job was one of the best things I did, but I did it knowing exactly what I wanted to do, who my first clients were going to be and with a couple of months pay stashed under the mattress. I think anyone considering quiting should do the same thing – that way you’re giving yourself the best chance of success.

    And for the record, it was the first Carson Workshop (combined with a nasty road accident) that made me take a step back, have a think, then take that leap off the cliff edge.

    The parachute’s looking strong so far.

  30. Ryan, I couldn’t agree more – I’ve never understood why people feel they have to work in a job which gives them less and less satisfaction as the years pass by. Life is indeed too short.

  31. Well said, Ryan. It’s also worth bearing in mind how likely it is any of us could die today. I don’t think that’s morbid but simply realistic; I could step out in front of a car as I walk to work this morning. That’s why I say to anyone with an ambition or dream to just do it! Now. Stop messing about and making excuses to yourself (“I’m staying in this job another year to get experience”). A quote by a friend of mine, Walter Higgins, comes to mind:

    If you think about it, most people are all about minimizing risks — entrepreneurs are about minimizing regrets.

    Don’t regret not taking what’s there for you in life.

  32. Hold on there. I’m not so sure this is the answer. First of all, Ryan, your sketch is way too simple, and, for me at least I would say you’re making some pretty major assumptions there which you should consider. You stick having a “baby” in like it’s some kind of MS project milestone followed by “Baby goes to college” with it’s dependency of “Baby exists in the first place”. I think your world view is a little odd. Baby’s aren’t milestones, life with them isn’t a series of targets and deliverables, it’s way more complex than that. Also, life can’t be measured out or reflected upon in this way either. Maybe you’ve never had anything unexpected happen, but really there are too many variables in life to draw a line, mark off some points and say that’s it, that’s me.
    Quitting for a better lifestyle/job is a good thing if you are oppressed or being harmed by what you do. But let me assure you, that even when you quit and follow your dream there will be dissapointment and all the same old s**t just in another form. Happiness of the life’s too short kind, has to come from within. It’s not about what you do, it’s not even about where you do it, it’s about the state of mind you have while you’re doing it, which is why you could do anything, anywhere. Don’t chase the dreams, they just become a nightmare for you and ultimately they WILL LET YOU DOWN. You need to find the passion in yourself, not in the things you do.

  33. Couldn’t agree more, Ryan! I’ve done it a couple of times, and it’s always worked out for me – not always financially, but as far as my quality of life is concerned (happiness > money every time).

  34. LocalJoost on October 23, 2007 at 6:41 am said:

    Always fun to say things like this in a time of economic prosperity. Remember 2000? Lot of people quitting their jobs or going on a sabattical? When they returned in 2001/2, the world had changed. I wonder what happened to all those happy quitters.

  35. I quit. In May. I was an executive – bored out of my mind – and realized that I was waiting for people to leave or die or stop looking out for only themselves.

    The inevitability of time would provide me with all the remaining ‘C’ titles that I could want.

    So at 35, I quit. I am in graduate school pursuing a degree in entertainment technology and plan to create video games sometime in the future.

    It was at least 10 months in the making, and I gave up a ton of compensation, but I couldn’t be bored anymore.

    Best of luck.

  36. Quit

    That’s right on. Some people just don’t get it, and they stick with a job that makes them miserable. I wish I had the heart to say it so bluntly. Someone should tell them they do have the option to change. Thanks for that =)

  37. I couldn’t agree more. That’s why I will be quitting my job next year and going traveling extensively. I want to get up everyday and be excited about life.

  38. I assume the numbers along the bottom are your age rather than the year 😉

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

man working on his laptop

Are you ready to start learning?

Learning with Treehouse for only 30 minutes a day can teach you the skills needed to land the job that you've been dreaming about.

Start a Free Trial
woman working on her laptop