What equations do you have for success?
As life only seems to be getting busier and busier, the majority of us are looking for ways to make the most of our time. We want to maximize the amount of things we can shove into any period, no matter how short. In today's world, with the fast pace of life and especially with the technology available to us, we also have the added pressure of feeling like we are on call or able to be reached around the clock. We might have to shoot off an email, book a plane ticket, pay a bill, and check in on a friend all while standing in line for the post office. In this environment of being able to instantly connect, click, download, and more, I find my patience runs out all the more quickly. Sometimes it's not the doing of a million small things at one time that raises my blood pressure, but rather the time I spend waiting for projects to be finished, results to be seen or -gasp!- even the red light to turn green that I suddenly find myself feeling irrationally exasperated. How dare I be forced to slow down?! I then feel frustrated with myself-- why can’t I be more patient?
On the flip-side, when it comes to making bigger life decisions, patience is in no short supply. We might consider every option and possibility a thousand times. It’s hard to know if it’s the proper time to make a career change, when to walk away from relationships that aren’t working, and whether that opportunity that came our way really is once in a lifetime or something that is wiser to let pass. When is the right moment to stop being patient and instead be proactive?
I think about this concept often. I literally imagine a scale with patience on one side and proactivity on the other. I know in some cases I can’t help but push myself to the limits in order to see just what I’m capable of. And at other times, I have to be really OK with the fact that some things aren’t meant to happen on my desired timeline. At certain times and for specific decisions, that scale might dip deeply to one side or the other.
We so often hear these two opposing messages: “Don’t let anything stand in the way of chasing your dreams!” and “Good things come to those who wait!” It would certainly be ideal to have some reliable equation to know when to do one or the other! What works for most people is likely somewhere in the middle. . Being your most productive self might lie in exercising patience when you are trying to do it all and make things happen. All the while, pushing yourself to create the life you want instead of using “patience” as a guise for fear about change, failure , or the unknown.
What ideas keep you moving forward? How do you weigh the decisions and choices in your life? I’d love to hear more about the ways you try to strike balance in the areas of your life!