If/then vs. now/then

Too many students make college-planning decisions using the if/then model.

If it will get me extra credit, I’ll participate in class.

If I get elected to a leadership position, I’ll take on more responsibility.

If it will help me get into an Ivy League school, I’ll perform some community service hours.

But the if/then approach leaves too many of your decisions to chance, circumstance, or the whims of other people. Wouldn’t you rather be in charge of yourself?

Instead of if/then, why not try now/then?

I’ll participate in class now; then the teacher will see how engaged I am.

I’ll take more responsibility now; then the club members will know that I’m someone who gets things done.

I’ll do community service and make a difference now; then I’ll be proud of my contributions when I apply to college.

When you take the “if” out and start now, you’re in charge. You get to create your own “then.”

It’s your time, after all. And while you should be deliberate about how you spend it, you’ll get a lot better results when you spend less time waiting for “if” and more time doing something now.