So far, I think you’ll agree this has been a pretty upbeat book, right? Well, here’s a downer. The bad news is that you won’t get the opportunity to read this incredible book entitled The Stevedore in the White Fedora. This novel, filled to the brim with stirring passages and replete with intrigue, passion, action, suspense, and hot romance, was going to captivate your imagination and take you on a breathtaking adventure to some of the most infamous ports of the world.

The only problem is that the book has not yet been written. And it never will be. That’s because Isaac Will, who had the whole splendid script in his head and who was going to take time off to write it someday, died of a heart attack four days ago. Mr. I. Will’s funeral will take place at 3:30 today, in Somerset Cemetery. Those who knew him well selected for his tombstone a fitting poem by James Albery:

He slept beneath the moon,
He basked beneath the sun,
Lived a life of going-to-do soon,
And died with nothing done.

Most people think of cemeteries as sad places. I do, too, but for a different reason. When I drive by one, I don’t just see grass, flowers, monuments, and mourners. I see unwritten books that were going to enthrall their readers and unfinished plays that would have enchanted their viewers. Never written good-bye letters. Never started paintings and sculptures. Never completed love songs. It was Oliver Wendell Holmes who said, “Most people go to their graves with their songs still unsung.”
Many people are saddened by the daily news of disappearing species. But equally sad is the fact that each and every day, around the world and around the clock, thousands of ideas, projects, products, inventions, and solutions disappear forever when they are buried with the people who died without ever realizing their dreams. Remember these words from Stephen Sondheim: “A dream is just a dream, if it’s only in your head. If no one gets to see it, it’s just as good as dead.”

So I beg of you, if you have something inside you that you want to bring out into the world, start working on it now. Today. Action today, my friends. Please, don’t wait, or your story might sound like this one. . . .

On Wednesday, December 3, 2003, I walked into Margarita Pizza to buy one of their famous Italian pizzas. I’ve been stopping there for the same reason every other week for the last 30-some years. But there was something different that day. For the first time ever, Attilio, the owner, was not behind the counter.

A friendly woman informed me that she and her husband had just acquired the business a few days earlier. After owning the business for 40 years, 76-year-old Attilio Janiello finally decided to sell it and enjoy the fruits of his labor.

The deal had been signed and money had changed hands on the previous Friday. His friend told me that on the way home from the bank that afternoon Attilio stopped at a travel agency to enquire about plane tickets for a trip to Italy he was planning to make in the coming months.

On Tuesday, at about 8:00 a.m., while having breakfast with his wife and reading his Corriere Italiano, Attilio died of a heart attack. He enjoyed the fruits of 40 years of labor for less than 100 hours, and yet I’ve heard since that visit that he had been willing and ready to sell about 15 years earlier. Perhaps he was waiting for the time to be just right, but he waited too long.

Don’t wait, or one day, you might regret it . . . like Alexa Whitehorse, a Native girl from northern British Columbia, Canada, who I first met when she was 12, a young girl figure skating late at night on the village hockey rink, alone—it was too cold for the boys to play hockey.

She was very good at it. And she loved it. Everybody was urging her to become a professional skater. She skated until she was 16, winning local competitions, regional ones, and even a northern BC championship. But then she slowed down and eventually stopped. She let go of her dream. She told a friend she was waiting for “everything in her life to be right” before pursuing her dream again.

On January 4, 1993, a car accident left this vibrant 20-year-old paralyzed from the waist down. It brought tears to my eyes when I saw her again.

I talked to her a few months ago. Now 33, she’s adapted to her new life. But she told me she often dreams of a genie coming to her in the middle of the night to offer her one wish. “I’d give anything for one more chance to lace up my skates—yes, those that pinched my toes when I put on extra socks to keep warm. I’d give anything for one more night out on the rink, all by myself, with the numbing wind, the bumpy ice, the scratchy PA system playing my music—“Someday My Prince Will Come.” I’d give everything for that privilege, even the rest of my life. . . .” Alexa Whitehorse’s biggest dream is to be able to skate again one day.

What is your biggest wish, your lifelong dream . . . and what’s keeping you from going after it? Are you waiting for “everything in your life to be right”? It’ll never happen. You’re never going to have it all together.

Here’s the best recipe I know for getting rid of procrastination. It’s two simple words: DOn’t waIT!

Whatever your big five-year, three-year, or one-year goal is that will change the rest of your life . . . do something about it every single day, even if it’s just a little thing like making a phone call, reading an article, or subscribing to a newsletter. At least one thing. Every day.

What helps me—and Laurel, my wife and business partner—is we have a special section on our to-do list that says “MUST.” The task in there is written in a different color so it stands out from the other 10 or 20 items on the list. The dictionary defines “must” as “be obliged to, be certain to, ought to.” For us, MUST is an acronym that defines that to-do task in relation to reaching our big goal: Mandatory, Urgent, Smart, Transformational. We take our “must-do” task very seriously, as if our “new” life depended on it—and it does!

On January 1, 2006, we set a very big goal for us to achieve by December 31, 2006. It will change our life. So every day, we make sure there’s at least one task under MUST. Sometimes there are more. But at least one. Every day. And we don’t go to bed or sit down for dinner until it’s done.

Does it work 100 percent of the time? No. But close. Hey, we’re only human. But we’re on schedule and on target to reach our goal before the end of the year. And we owe it mostly to our daily obsession with crossing off our must-do item. Try it. It works.

So, my friends, to use the words of Nike®’s marketing people, whatever it is that will make your life what you want it to be, go ahead, just do it! It’s a MUST!

** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life”, visit

Author's Bio: 

Daniel Saintjean is half of The BizzBoosters, Inc. (the other, “better half” is Laurel R. Simmons, accomplished businesswoman, outstanding coach, and femme extraordinaire). As The BizzBoosters, the two teach professionals and businesspeople QISS—quick, inexpensive, simple, and sensible—tips to help them boost their businesses and to improve the person as well in the process. You can reach Daniel and Laurel at, or visit There you can subscribe to their “awesomsational” eBizzLetter™ they publish twice a month or purchase one of their many e-books in a series entitled Your Road to BUSINE$$ SUCCE$$.