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Success Routines, Rituals, Habits # 52: Is the Banana Ripe?

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Picture of stacks of banana bunches

Photo by Lotte Löhr on Unsplash

Every day we’re faced with decisions and situations that seem to require action now. And the temptation is to do something–now.

When you find yourself in that situation, Martin Willoughby in Success Routines, Rituals, Habits #52, suggests asking yourself this question: Is the banana ripe?

Consider this: Would you rather eat a sweet, ripe banana or a bitter, unripe one?

What’s the difference? Time. Ripening takes time–and that means waiting.

Much like a ripe banana, a good decision or a constructive action often comes after taking time for it to ripen. Timing, as they say, is everything. Often the difference between success and failure is simply timing. It’s far better to wait for the right time to act than risk the bitter bite of an “unripe” decision.

When you’re faced with a decision, let yourself pause to reflect not only on the various options, but also on the impact of time on the situation. Just like a ripe banana, a good decision and successful outcome are within our reach–if we take time for them to ripen.

So, ask yourself these questions to help you determine when and how to decide a course of action–to know when “the banana is ripe”:

  1. Is the issue or decision I’m facing ready for action?

  2. Can I wait on this decision, or should the issue be resolved now?

  3. When is the best time for me to address this issue?

  4. What success routines, rituals, and habits am I using to ensure the banana is ripe?

  5. Do I understand my options?

  6. How serious is the issue?

  7. Must I react?

  8. Can I choose another approach? (respond, reframe, delay, or ignore)

  9. How do I determine the best time to act? To reflect? To seek counsel? To make the decision?

  10. When is the best time for me to make the best decision?

*Source: Martin Willoughby’s Success Principles

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