Not Here, Not Yet

There’s a Fatboy Slim song called “Right Here, Right Now.” Some 15 years ago or so, one of my favorite football freestylers used it in his video, “Timo Is Back Part 3.” It’s a catchy song, and, like Timo’s video, it makes a statement: This is me. I am here. This is what I’m willing to do – right here, right now.

It’s a song that takes a stand, just like Slim has with his electronic music since the late 90s, helping to usher in what’s called the “big beat” genre. After Greta Thunberg gave her world-famous speech at the UN in 2019, at some point using the phrase “right here, right now,” Slim even remixed his old track with parts of Thunberg’s call to action, further reminding us: Climate change is here today, and we must stand our ground now.

There’s a corollary to this phrase, however, and it holds equal assertive power: “Not here, not yet.” When Timo published his video, he also said: “I’m not done.” So did Slim in remixing his track. Still making music 30 years later? Not done. Not here, not yet.

When you have an opportunity to sell your business but feel there are things left undone, challenges you must face yet uncompleted, maybe the time is not here, not yet. If you ship your magnum opus and a follow-up springs to mind six months later – not here, not yet.

Sometimes, “I’m not done” is more powerful than “I’m taking action.” The former affords you a more restful approach. It allows you to admit you don’t necessarily know what you’ll do next, but at least you already know you’re gonna do something before hanging up your cape. Some roads in life, you must walk as far as you can go. You’ll know the end when you get there, and until then, “not here, not yet” is enough.

The other forgiving element of “not here, not yet” is that it allows you to admit you aren’t ready. In the movies, heroes often use “not yet” as a phrase to steady themselves, to find patience, and to prevent the final crescendo from commencing even a second too soon.

When will the gladiator see his dead wife and son again? Not here, not yet. When can Clark Kent reveal his powers to the world? Not here, not yet. When can the Scots finally attack the English? Not here, not yet. It’s okay to need more time. Just hold out a little longer. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow you’ll be stronger.

It’s good to stand your ground. We should yell “right here, right now” more often. Most of the time, however, it is enough to not give up. To keep going quietly. That does not take a bold declaration. You don’t have to ruin your voice over it. All you need to do is whisper “not here, not yet.”