Born to Do: It is Not Too Late

“[I]n nooks all over the earth sit men who are waiting, scarcely knowing in what way they are waiting, much less that they are waiting in vain.  Occasionally the call that awakens– that accident which gives the “permission to act — comes too late, when the best youth and strength for action has already been used up by sitting still; and many have found to their horror when they ‘leaped up’ that their limbs had gone to sleep and their spirit had become to heavy.  ‘It is too late,’ they said to themselves, having lost their faith in themselves and henceforth forever useless.

-Friedrich Nietzsche

This quote is from the newest Robert Greene book, The 50th Law, a collaboration with 50 Cent.  For those not familiar with Mr. Greene, he has written a series of books on Power, Seduction, and War.  He has also become a sort of modern-day Machiavelli with the rap set.  In each, he breaks down the nature of each subject through maxims derived from the greatest generals, philosophers, seducers, and also stories and fables, from multiple cultures.  At the very least for any history buff his previous three are great reads.

Coming back to the quote, I liked the sense of urgency it created.  It’s not about waiting for “the call that awakens,” but awaking whatever it is that you were born to do, not settled into, BORN TO DO, and do most excellently (thanks Bill & Ted).

Wasted human potential is a tragedy, not just personally, but globally.  While it is in our capacity to seek out greatest potential would should strive, in any measure, to reach it.

It is not too late.



5 Comments on “Born to Do: It is Not Too Late”

  1. Linda says:

    ah, nietzsche. he occupies quite a bit of space on my bookshelf

  2. Alicia says:

    I share your enthusiasm regarding the timing of following our calls. Many people believe that once stagnation becomes a part of their life, it is too late to do anything about it. The time is now, no matter the age or situation. We owe it to ourselves to try to become that which we long to be.

  3. A.J. says:


    I have the Will To Power on my bookshelf, still waiting to be read by me. That’s my next book after The 50th Law.

  4. A.J. says:


    Exactly! Life is too short to be led unfulfilled.

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