The phrase “strike while the iron’s hot” jumped into my mind the other day. We’ve all heard it before. A hard metal is easiest to shape when it’s hot. After it cools down, it will retain the shape it’s in at that time.
Basically, it means to take advantage of an opportunity while favorable conditions exist, before you lose your chance.
It’s a great idea, especially when you’re working as a blacksmith, but when’s the last time you did that?
What if it’s bad advice for you?
I’ve met entirely too many people who have taken that advice to heart and they wait. They wait and wait and wait until the iron is hot. For many people, the iron never gets hot.
They don’t write their novels because they’re waiting for inspiration.
They don’t do their workout because the weather isn’t just right to go out.
They’re waiting for someone to come along and show them what to do. Or they wait for conditions to be perfect. Or they don’t want to be inconvenienced in any way. Or they’re afraid of making a mistake, of feeling foolish, or looking stupid.
So they wait.
The best way to get the iron hot is to work when it’s cold. Dive in. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll feel foolish. You’ll look stupid. So what?
You’ll get warmed up. You’ll start to see things you didn’t see before. You’ll start having insights you didn’t expect. You’ll make progress.
You’ll actually sit down to write that novel when you have nothing to say. Out of the gibberish on the page will arise thoughts, ideas, and stories.
You’ll go outside when it’s raining or hot and you’ll do your workout and be that much closer to health and fitness.
When you work like that do you know what you’ll find?
You’ll find that the iron becomes hot. You’ll find that your learning, exploring, and experimenting made the iron hot.
You’ll find that you have created your own fire, instead of waiting around for the world to present the perfect opportunities under the perfect conditions.
When you start your own fire and make your life hot yourself, you can shape it any way you want.
So, strike while the iron is cold. Today. Right now. Take the first step.
Before you know it, you will have a raging fire of energy, creativity, and collaboration. You’ll be creating and shaping things you never thought possible.
Don’t wait for the iron to get hot before striking.
Get the Nerve!