Skip to main content
Published on 7 December 2021

It's Never Too Soon!

We are all very familiar with the saying, "It's never too late." We hear it quite frequently. It is commonly used as a way of encouraging someone to try something new, or to take up a new habit or even career, and who doesn't love a bit of encouragement? But, is it true?

A quick Google search revealed that the origin of the phrase is probably unknown. Some have attributed it to George Eliot from his writings in approximately AD 1880, but some other clever people seem to think that is an incorrect attribution. Even though when and why it became a part of common vernacular would be an interesting investigation for some, it would still fail to answer the question of whether it is true or not.

Again, I understand the desire to encourage someone to better themselves at any stage of life. We should all want to continue to learn and grow and to become the best version of ourselves or our business until we lose the ability to do so. However, is, "It's never too late" the best advice or source of motivation?

In a word, "No!" As a phrase it's not even true. Sometimes it is too late. Regularly we pass up on opportunities that may never present themselves again. Sometimes we do lose the ability to do certain things through age, injury, location or timing. So, while the phrase may be true in a small number of specific contexts, I would argue that it is largely unhelpful for the purpose for which it is meant - encouragement to help you accomplish your purpose, personal or in business.

In light of this, I offer this alternative: "It's never too soon." Like, "It's never too late," it won't be true in every context, but I believe for the purpose of self-improvement and the fulfilment of life purpose, it is hugely more helpful and challenging. I think maybe the fact that it's more challenging is perhaps why we use it less. Many of us are not great at challenging ourselves or others. We prefer gentle encouragement and phrases that make us sound like we care, over the gentle challenge of phrases that show we care enough to make someone think.

We are all, by now, extremely aware that Christmas is on the way with New Year hot on its heels. Could this be the year that you make a New Year’s Resolution that you can keep and that could help you not just lose a little weight but actually find your purpose?

“It’s never too soon” allows you to step up to all sorts of challenges and encourages you to try something new, as we all know that doing the same thing but expecting different results defines a trait that none of wants to be identified by.

So, the next time you, one of your friends, or a business colleague says, "I'd really like to…(lose weight, do a qualification, climb a mountain, play an instrument, change the culture…)," try saying, "It's never too soon!" and see where the conversation goes. Maybe challenge yourself over the next week to replace, "It's never too late" with "It's never too soon" every time the opportunity arises and see if it becomes a habit. Remember, the sooner you start practicing your new habits, the sooner they become second nature.