I was getting ready to drive to the office this morning and I noticed this sunrise.


Knowing something about how sun and light work, I knew that I didn’t have even a minute to take the shot. For those who don’t do a lot of photography, light can change in a minute or even half of a minute. If you see just the right balance of colors, of light, of contrast, you must take the shot.

In just half a minute, the entire thing can change or go away. Maybe it will improve, but chances are, it won’t be what caught your eye in the first place. Whatever it was about that moment that caught your eye is the best time to take the shot, and sure enough, this shot was gone in 30 seconds. What replaced it was a pretty sunrise, but it lacked the visual impact of the sky seemingly on fire.

Unsurprisingly, life is a lot like this. Sometimes the moment arrives, and you have to take the shot. Maybe it’s that certain person at the bar or dining area who catches your eye. Maybe it’s that person waiting in line in front of you at a conference. Maybe it’s that job ad you saw float by on Twitter.

There are definitely times when deliberation and careful thought are the best course of action. There are also times for taking the shot. How do you know the difference?

If at any point you find yourself saying “it will be there later“, or even more pointedly, “I hope it will be there later“, then that’s a warning sign that it’s probably time to take the shot. Those words come from inertia, from fear, or from procrastination and not from a genuine need to be cautious or deliberate. When you hear your inner voice say them or words like them, take the shot.

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