They say good things come to those who wait. They also say patience is a virtue, which is another one of those sayings that used to drive me crazy. The dictionary says a virtue is a moral excellence or goodness; as if to say that if we wait patiently, then we are good. So, what do we do? We wait . . .
I have often wondered if the person who originally said these quotes is someone who ever had to wait for a callback after a job interview. I wonder if this person ever had to wait to hear their results after a background check. Did the person who originally said this ever have to wait to find out if they got the promotion or did they lose it to someone else? Did they ever have to wait and get so close only to hear, “Sorry, we’re going to go in a different direction,” and just like that, everything was all awash. Did they land or lose the big sale? Did they make the grade or connect with the client? Meanwhile, everyone who lives in the real world is no stranger to the saying, “Hurry up and wait.”
We all know what it feels like to work for something, wait and then wait even more; and still, nothing happens. There are times when you run as fast as you can to keep up with the competition yet, there are so many different variables that exist in this world. The pressure we put on ourselves can become irrational and unrealistic. But life is still happening. There are no timeouts and we still have a race to run. Right?
Think back to an exam that you took in your life. Think of one that was important. Let’s say this was worth more than just a grade. There was more riding on this than an A in a classroom. For example, I took a computerized test to gain one of my state recognized credentials. I had to answer each question and at the end, I had to confirm that I was sure that all of my answers were correct and that I was finished with the test.
Out of all the questions I had to answer, this was the toughest question on the test.
“Are you sure?”
Once you mark this button, there is no going back.
There have been times in my life when I was awaiting approval. I had to wait for feedback and meanwhile, my priorities belonged to me. The pressures in my mind were enough to drive me crazy! Plus, and unfortunately, the world does not move according to my calendar. No, like everyone else in the world, I have to wait.
I have to wait for approval and oftentimes; I’ve had to wait to be rejected. There were times when I spent days and weeks or even months, working and preparing for a program. I was proud of my work. I was cautiously optimistic and confident; yet, admittedly, I had visions of glory and fantasies of success. I had thoughts of achievement and meetings that went smoothly. I had all of this; only to have the lines of communication go flat. No returned phone calls. No answered emails. No word of whether I was in or out. Nothing!
I suppose these are the times when clichés sting the most.
I’ve been told that things do not happen in my timeline. I have been told to keep plugging. Keep moving. I was told not to let this get me down and meanwhile, when you go home and look at your notes or rethink your presentation, you start to pick apart the approach. You start to wonder if there was something amiss.
Did I say something wrong?
Was I too confident?
Did I ask too many questions or better yet, did I ask the wrong questions?
Maybe I should have worn a different suit and tie.
They say a watched pot never boils—or wait, another one I’ve heard is that things only happen when you least expect them to. Or, you’ll find what you’re looking for as soon as you stop looking. To be clear, I have never been a fan of sayings like this. I have never been a fan of clichés.
I go back to the time when I was much younger. I was asked, “You complain that you have no shoes, but what about the person with no feet?” With contempt, this question made no sense to me—to which I was infuriated and answered, “What the hell does that person have to do with me? They don’t need shoes!”
There are times when the mind is the worst place to be. We can literally think ourselves crazy or sick. We can easily be stuck in the deception of our perception and meanwhile, this is all a mindset.
One of the common struggles is our confusion between the world as it is and the world as we see it. And believe me, there is a difference. The two are seldom the same. These are the thinking errors which assume that people see as we do, think the same way, or feel the same. But no. We are all born with our own view. We all have our own interpretation. We have biases. We have personal concerns and intuitions that differ the same as our fingerprints and DNA.
Oftentimes, the hardest thing to do is escape our own mindset. In the entry about the mindset of quitting, I offered a science behind our thinking. I offered that as a person who lives in the same world as everyone else. I wrote about the emotional changes that occur. However, in this entry, I offer another version of the emotional mind and the distractions that come with life. I do this to normalize our concepts; that we are all indeed human, that we all have worries and doubts, and that far too often, our thinking keeps us up late at night, but to what avail?
There are times when people offer their support. They offer compliments, which can be uncomfortable to hear. There are times when people support us by telling us how much we mean to them or how they “Believe” in us. Of course, this is kind. This is all meaningful. However, when anxiety begins to collapse the mind, there is an internal fear that worries if we deserve this praise. Additionally, there is a fear that we cannot maintain this level of performance—in which case, the little hamster in the wheel starts running in our brain again.
They say worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere. I can say that this is true. I can also say that worry can lead to terrible anguish. And then of course, someone comes along to say their helpful little suggestion,“All good things come to those who wait.”
And inside, all you think is, “GO TO HELL!”
I don’t know if the saying “All good things come to those who wait,” is true. I know that I have seen evidence that good things come to those who work for them. I have seen evidence that good things come to those who found their secret of endurance—and even if beaten and bashed, bloodied and torn apart—no matter how good or bad, intense or gentle; there is proof that good things come to those who can survive the ups and downs of life and business. This is not easy. Then again, life is not easy. Work is not easy either because if it was, they’d probably call it something else.
I had to learn this for myself. I had to find a way to understand my value and see my worth; otherwise, I run the risk of being grossly under-paid.
The secret of my endurance is that I have a picture—the same as the picture on the box of a puzzle. I have to be mindful of each piece and delicate when I place each piece in its position. I cannot waste my energy with mistakes or continuously question myself. The secret to my endurance is to be consistent and persistent. I am aware that I make mistakes. However, my mistakes do not make me. I can restart and adjust at any given moment. I have to be clear about this. Otherwise, I hold onto unnecessary dilemmas that only grow more complicated in my mind.
I had to both learn and understand that people do not think, see or feel the same way that I do. And this is actually a gift. This makes me unique. We do not share the same priorities. We all have our own agenda, which is fine. I have mine. You have yours. Since the rest of the world is far beyond my control, perhaps it is best that I accept this.
Like the famous prayer goes, the secret of my endurance is to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and yes, of course; the wisdom to know the difference.