If anyone has perfected the art of settling in a lifetime, I have. I must admit before proceeding, I am impatient. I, just like many of the younger generation out there suffer from the “I want it now” syndrome. And although I suffer from “I want it now,” I also remember when things weren’t so instantaneous in this world.
I remember the process I used to go through just to get on the internet. I remember the day my Dad brought home a MAC for us, I thought “Mac’s are so not cool and are slow, why can’t we get an IBM?” Apparently my Dad was more trendy than I thought! I remember not having a cell phone and often wish I could go back to the days where someone had to actually CALL me on a landline, imagine that! I remember having a pager and having to use a pay phone to get a hold of my parents. Most importantly, I remember growing up in which I had to work for every single new toy and new clothing item. If I wanted new clothes for the school year, you better believe I was working every day of my summer break to earn those clothes. These were the days when nothing was fast and waiting seemed normal. “I want it now” didn’t exist because “now” took a lot longer. These are the days I often miss.
Patience is a challenging word. In this day and age, patience is unheard of. When it takes 5 seconds instead of 2 seconds for a new page to load on the internet, I often freak out and think, “We should call our IT guy.” Really? I am pretty sure dial-up took at least 5-10 minutes! I often long to go back to the day when life was simple, when we had to make an effort to connect with people, when we weren’t just relying on technology to do the work. And although I do believe that technology has been essential to the progress we have made in medicine and the ability to reach & connect people from anywhere in the world, I also believe we can learn something from the days when we weren’t so reliant on technology. We can learn the value of patience.
The late Steve Jobs Said “You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”
The easy thing to do in life is to not wait for what you truly want because you are fearful that what you want will never happen. At the root of impatience is fear, “fear of never happening.” I can say this because this “fear” was and often still is the filter I have used to make many decisions in my career and life.
For a long time, I didn’t recognize the fear because it was masked so well by my impatience. When it comes to decisions in your business and your life, you need to ask yourself, am I making this decision out of fear or because I feel like it is the best decision to get where I want to go? When you ask yourself this question, whether it be about a relationship, a big strategic move or just an everyday decision, there is something that is key here. You need to put your fear aside and say, “If I wasn’t scared of the unknown, if I wasn’t scared of failing, what decision would I make?” This is the answer you should be going with. Scared to do this? Well take a few minutes to do an exercise:
• Sit down with a piece of paper.
• Think back to a time when you accomplished something that you had been working towards for a long period of time (whether it be a marketing campaign or a personal goal, just something that was a big accomplishment that you were scared to do).
• Write down what you accomplished.
• This is where it is most important: Write down how you felt when you accomplished that goal.
• Capture that feeling. Remember that feeling of success. Isn’t that so much better than that feeling of fear?
It is easy to live within the confines of our fears. It is easy to settle in all areas of our life because if you settle then you don’t have to get outside of your comfort zone. Fear is comfortable, imagine that, we are more comfortable living in fear than we are living in success.
So whether it is in matters of business or matters of your heart, live in fear, be patient, and don’t settle. Why live in fear? Because that overwhelming feeling of being scared has the potential to turn into the overwhelming feeling that you described above. And THAT overwhelming feeling, is far more fun than “comfortable.”