With kids back in public school, college campuses refilled, national and local elections looming, and the economy still stuck in the doldrums, wouldn’t it be great to fast forward a few weeks, months, or years and see how it all turns out? Maybe, but what would be the fun in that?
We gain strength as people by living through life’s challenges—good and bad—and by finding treasured nuggets in what life serves up to us each and every day. Rather than rehash, here’s a post from over a year ago that speaks to patience and living in the moment. Enjoy!
Patience in Short Supply
(Originally posted on July 19, 2011)
Maybe it’s because most of us grew up glued to the TV set where issues resolved themselves neatly (complete with laugh track and/or dramatic music!) in 23 minutes for the typical half-hour sitcom, or 43 minutes for hour-long dramas, but “patience” seems in short supply these days. It’s like Freddy Mercury once crooned, “I want it all and I want it now.”
Do you ever feel like your life is a book, and all you want to do is flip to the last few pages to see how it turns out . . . or at the very least check the table of contents to see what twists and turns life has in store?
I know this King Monkey sometimes does, especially when times get tough or when life seems to be on autopilot. You get those feelings of “next, please” or “I just want to get through this.”
Now, it’s perfectly normal to be curious about the future, about where certain decisions (or indecisions) will take you. A lot of times, that’s what keeps us going. But when you get overly anxious about what awaits, when you start wishing this week or this month would just hurry the heck up and get done so you could see how “things” turn out, then you’re heading down the same path Adam Sandler took in the movie Click. If you recall, in that film, Sandler’s character comes into possession of a magical remote control that allows him to fast forward over life’s duller or more painful moments. Problem is, soon Sandler’s character realizes he’s fast-forwarded over most of his life, and that mixed in with those less desirable moments are those things that make life worth living—things he missed in his rush to get to the end.
The bottom line is that we don’t really control our own timelines. We may think we do, and we may affect a lot of what happens and when, but life pretty much plays out for us . . . and that’s what makes it so interesting—all those roads taken or not taken, the people and things who come into our lives or exit, the opportunities that come and go.
If you think about it, how “fun” would life be if you knew how it all turned out before you even got to live it? What would be the point? It would be like someone telling you the ending of a book or movie ahead of time.
Life, like good marketing, takes time. In life (as in business) all we can do is be prepared for what comes our way, living in the here and now, and keeping our eyes open for life’s opportunities so we can make the most of them.