Tuesday, February 12, 2013
"Hurry Up and Wait!" This is a phrase often heard in the armed forces as it pertains to detailed missions. When some people hear this for the first time, they chuckle. It actually sounds like an oxymoron. On one hand, it is. On the other hand, it's not. In fact, it's a cornerstone proverb of this life that we've been expected and challenged to live.
When I was younger I'm sure I was the only person who couldn't wait to be 16. Right? I was chomping at the bit to turn 16 so that I could get my driver's license. However, when I finally got my license my parents quickly informed me that while I met the state of Ohio's requirements to operate a motor vehicle, I had to meet the state of mom and dad's requirements first. Once the novelty of 16 wore off I became focused on 18 which was followed by the fascination with 21 then 25 and then the fascination with getting older suddenly began to fade. Could it be that after countless moments of clarity we realize that the times we envision to be the most grandiose in our lives are based on waiting? "I can't wait to be 16. I can't wait to be 21. I can't wait to be 25. Now that I'm 25, I, I, I.............I'm 25? Hmmmm. Next is stop is 30. When you slow down and evaluate it, you'll realize the waiting you've done wasn't necessarily that bad. However, if you stop and think too long about it some opportunities will pass right by you simply because you were focused on the wrong thing. No matter the age, goal or expiration date you've put on your calendar to accomplish certain things in your life, there's a moment in time where you have to stop yourself in your tracks simply to ask; Is this what I worked for or what I waited for?
No matter the case, the reality of time is that it marches on regardless of where you live or how you live. No matter how much we claim that we cannot wait until the next great thing happens, we have to wait. However, we have a choice of whether or not we pass the time or spend the time. It's the difference between working to get better and waiting/hoping to get better.
My philosophy of life is simple; work while you wait. No matter how hard we try, we can't speed up time, we can't make it stop and we can't slow it down. You often hear these go get em' phrases like 'Carpe Diem', 'Embrace the Now', 'Maximize the Precious Present'. Ultimately it means we must play the game in front of us, one possession at a time and squeeze every ounce of energy out of ourselves while we're living. In the song, "Just The Two Of Us" Bill Withers sings, "good things might come to those who wait, but not for those who wait too late, we gotta go for all we know." The Chrysler commercial states, "good things come to those who work." I personally prefer to fuse the two philosophies and simply say good things come to those work while they wait. Many of you will take heed to my words or maybe you already live by these words. Others may just continue to work however you wish with your head down instead of working with your eyes lifted. Waiting is not resting. Instead, waiting is praying, planning, organizing, envisioning, working, and risking as you take that first small step into the abyss of the unknown.
There are 3 benefits to working while you wait;
1)It minimizes distractions and maximizes discipline.
2)It enhances your appreciation of time.
3)It helps eliminate excuses.
Champion entrepreneurs don't wait for that perfect job to find them. They create that perfect job in the meanwhile.
Champion athletes don't celebrate their championship the entire off-season. They immediately go back to work in order to ensure that they stand in the winner's circle the very next season.
Champion politicians don't rely on the delivery of one speech in one night to get them elected. They work diligently on their platform and campaign strategy when they're away from the podium so that their speech is simply an extension of their work.
Ordinary people don't become extraordinary people by wishing on a star. They build their own spaceships and become stars.
So what are you waiting on?
What are you working on?
Are you waiting on the work?
Or are you working on how you wait?
Whatever you do, make your work worth the wait.