A couple of weeks back, I wrote a post called, There is no Stigma to Success. In it, I mentioned one of the benefits of being self published was that there was no ticking clock. You could take as long as you needed to find your footing as an author and gain traction.
But guess what: waiting is the hardest part. Yes, it’s true: waiting is the hardest part. Does waiting mean that you’re doing nothing? Nope. There are plenty of things that you can do while waiting. But, waiting for something you want, something that’s a goal, is hard, even when you’re doing everything you can to achieve it.
We drove to the Outer Banks for vacation recently. My kids “couldn’t wait” to get there. Only the reality is they had to wait. It’s a six hour drive from DC to the Outer Banks. Yeah, we could have “balled the jack” as they say and maybe shaved 30 or 40 minutes off our time. But, that wouldn’t have been a good example, or even particularly safe (especially in light of the Tracy Morgan crash). As much as they “couldn’t wait,” they had to wait.
The same is true for most of the best things in life. Very rarely are we lucky enough to stumble upon the thing we desire most on the very first try. Usually, to get what we want, it requires working to achieve it and waiting while the fruits of that labor start to pay dividends.
But, the waiting is the hard part, because the world isn’t as transparent as a pond. Even though we may act like a rock, sending rippling waves throughout, we can’t always see the ripples right after we make the splash. We’re sort of like that rock, sinking slowly to the bottom of the pond, with no way to know what plopping down right where we did actually caused waves. Like the rock, we’re often left with the feeling that all that effort we put into launching and leaping and jumping into the pond did nothing but cause us to sink. We can’t see the ripple effect. Many people give up on their dream before they’ve given it a shot because they don’t think what they’re doing is working, and aren’t patient enough to wait to see the results.
The good news is that waiting is hard for everyone, so you’re no different from the rest of the population if you don’t like to wait. The key is setting small goals so you can see some success along the way, and know each little success is a stepping stone in the larger goal. It makes waiting easy because it stops the “waiting” part. Instead of waiting, you’re achieving little goals along the way.
While waiting often feels like the hardest part, it’s really not. Doing the work that gets you the results you’re waiting for is what’s hard. And if you’re focused on that work, then you won’t focus on waiting, and pretty soon, you’ll be at your goal.
Well, at least in theory. I still find it hard to wait for the things I want, sometimes. So, how are you at waiting?