Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Are You Waiting For All The Lights To Turn Green?

Samuel Johnson, the venerable philosopher and Dictionary compiler of the 1700s, said,

“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.”

A modern way to say that is,

“You’ll never get anywhere if you wait for all the lights to turn green at once.”

I was talking this week to someone who is anxious to make changes in several aspects of her life. She was telling me how frustrated she was over not being able to get going with her improvement plans. She had bought a goal-setting workbook but was waiting to start it when things were better. Unfortunately, getting things better was her goal!

I certainly could not criticize her, or even advise her very well, because I have the same tendency. If things are not just right, I tend to not get started. However, the longer I wait for things to be just right, the more there is to do to make them right!

Today, think of the stop lights in your life–the people, situations and things that frustrate you, depress you, or make you wish you could move forward and get to someplace else.  Or, the changes you want to make that require long-term action on your part. As my mother–and many other mothers–have advised about driving, “Sometimes it’s easier to make a bunch of right turns than one left turn across heavy traffic.” Just get going, in any way you can, and head toward your destination.

I know, I know, what you can do today is not enough to make things better. But maybe what you can do today is enough to keep it from getting worse. I also know that the little bit you can do today is not enough to get you where you want to go. But it will get you closer–and maybe that little bit will inspire you to go further tomorrow.

You will probably never find all the lights turning green at once. But if you keep moving, even in tiny increments, one day you will arrive where you want to be. Best wishes as you get moving and keep moving this week!

July 27th, 2008 Posted by | Food, Fitness, Fun, Life and Work | 5 comments


  1. This is what I needed to get me going on something I have been stalled about. Your site is always a wonderful resource for me.

    I’m sure you’re aware of the shootings in Tennessee. I think there is a great need for your assistance in church security training. I don’t know if anything could have helped, or ever could help, but just having the conversation about it is needed. Blessings! Don

    Comment by Don Roberson | July 27, 2008

  2. Yes, Don, I have been reading about the tragic situation in Tennessee. The fact that it is nearly impossible to prevent such random and blatant violence is what makes it so frightening. I don’t want to be viewed as someone who tries to profit from tragedies, and I don’t know that I have anything to add that is more worthwhile than any of the other sources. I am going to give it some thought and will contact you about it. Thank you for the comment. Tina

    Comment by Tina | July 27, 2008

  3. Tina, how are you? Just found your website and have looked at everything. You have some great information. I still think you should write a book about your interesting career experiences! My comment is about this post….

    I help people set up fitness and health programs and people are always telling me they’re waiting for the perfect day to begin. I tell people to not wait until New Years or some other time, but to start their program at 2 p.m. or 6 p.m. TODAY. Then, if tomorrow they fall off the wagon sometime, they should start it again. Most of my clients are healthy in half day spurts, but that’s better than if they count a day as lost because they have to eat out or are having birthday cake. Your quote about the signal lights will work good for that, because I can talk about driving a block then stopping, then driving another block.

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by R.T. | July 30, 2008

  4. I read this to my wife and she told me my trouble was I run the red light and go through the yellow lights then sit at the green lights. Does that mean I have problems?

    Comment by Wiseacre | July 30, 2008

  5. A combined response from Tina:

    1. To R.T. YOU are such a good example of fitness that your advice would ….I don’t want to say it would carry a lot of weight, so I’ll say it would be very influential. I would love it if you could use that green light quote in your work.

    2. To Wiseacre. What your wife said was not meant to imply that you have problems, but rather that you CAUSE problems. It wasn’t a compliment. (Said semi-jokingly, because you and I have discussed the fact that being a pain in the neck to people is not the way to spend one’s life…and not the reputation anyone should want.) Thanks for commenting, and I’ll hope you stop and start at the right times from now on! 🙂

    Comment by Tina | July 30, 2008

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