Patience is not my strong suit. Let’s be more specific. When you look up the word “patience” in a dictionary – in the antonym section (the opposite of the word – if it has been a while since you finished school), you will find my name and my 8×10 signed portrait.
I am a “get in there; get things happening; take massive action” sort of person. I am the sort of person who will wake up one day with the thought “I think I need an orange feature wall in my office” and will have two coats finished by the close of business that day.
I am known as a fast writer. Some projects can be turned around the same day – bigger ones can take 2-3 weeks. Once I know the angle to take, the words just gush out onto the page – nothing stops until they are done.
I value speed and action. If you get a nudge of inspiration, I believe you need to act on it. In my book, success comes from action not ideas.
Does Delay = Not Meant to Be?
This is why the past few weeks, with my knee out of action, have been so hard. Normally I race up the stairs between levels in my home two at a time. For the past five weeks, I have done the granny-shuffle one stair at a time. Getting thing happening has been a tad slower than normal.
But the hurry up and wait lessons have not just been physical. It seems that everything else in my life has been on a go slow as well. My re-branding (started in early February), is still going on. And my home renovations have been a symphony in delays.
When I talk to some colleagues and friends, they tell me that all the delays are because I need to learn patience. I beg to differ.
In any life and business, there will be blocks. We can choose to throw up our hands and say in all earnestness, “Well – I must be meant to be doing something else. If it were meant to be, it would be easier than this. Everything would fall smoothly into place.”
No one will blame us if we take that path of reasoning. But deep down I would know that if I took that road, I would be wimping out of what I can achieve.
The Alternate View
I look at the past few weeks as lessons in perseverance, resilience and overcoming resistance.
Setbacks are not stop signs. Blocks do not mean the road is fully closed. It just means there are detours to a different path. And sometimes the detours turn out to give you great experiences and help you see new vistas.
The Lessons of Detours
What I have found from physio on my knee is that muscles only grow strong if they are worked – and the greatest strength is achieved from working against resistance (both physical and mental). No resistance means no strength when you need it.
I have also learned that it is OK to have days when you doubt everything you are aiming for. When you question if you are on the right path and if you are cut out for the journey.
That’s being human – and teary days crammed full of self-doubt are the days when the siren calls to give up is loudest. On those days it is OK to feel the negativity, have a good wallow in the feelings, turn in for the night and then have another go in the morning.
But I have also learned that having people who hold you to a higher “you” are the key to being able to get going that next day. People who can see you are struggling with something and can help you work it out – not through fear or yelling at you (a la Biggest Loser), but through simply holding the unshakeable belief that you can succeed. Through sharing their expertise and knowledge, but still letting you do it yourself.
In my case, these people have been my kids, my physio and some close work colleagues. And to them, I owe deep gratitude – for they have been my greatest teachers.
Things are once again starting to flow, and relatively fast action is now possible. I still may not be good at patience, but the other lessons along this detour have been pretty awesome.