Impatience is a Virtue.
A few months ago my mom flew into town for a visit, and I decided to run a few new blog post ideas by her. I figured “Mom knows best,” so why not get her thoughts?
As I walked up to our beloved whiteboards and started explaining some post ideas on the list, I realized I was suddenly approaching a title that was going to create some drama. (I’ll chalk it up to not rebelling enough as a teen, but I started getting anxiously excited to read it off.)
You see, at Christmastime, when my brother, sister, and I were kids, my mom used to give us keepsakes that either encouraged us… or strongly hinted at improving our character flaws.
One year, Chad received a glass desk piece that simply stated:
My sister, Katrina, unwrapped an image of an eagle with “Strength” inscribed above a verse from the book of Isaiah.
…and for me, I scored a heavy black plaque that blatantly called me out with:
“Patience is a Virtue”
Subtle, Mom… subtle….
Ten years later, as you can read at the top of this page, I took that solid advice and crapped all over it as I happily read off the title of this post. It only took a whopping 1.4 seconds for her to register my cRaZy rebellion and throw out a very discerning, “Wait a minute… what?”
So I explained:
In my short time here on Earth I’ve realized, yes, patience is indeed a virtue… but more so when you’re trying to humor an overly talkative relative or trying to refrain from sucker punching a cop who just gave you a $191 ticket for jaywalking (true story, ask Chad)….
BUT, in terms of opportunities, success, and dreams… I’d have to say that chronic impatience works fairly well. I mean, you can’t honestly tell me that Einstein, Mozart and The Little Engine That Could just hung out until results came there way, can you?
On a personal note, I can also blame impatience on one of the biggest decisions of my young life:
I really had no plans to drop everything and move across the country for the past six years while living in New York. I graduated from school, I had a decent following in my music endeavors, I had an easy job, and I had an adequate social life (which meant going to the bar after work once in awhile).
Even after a music publishing deal had me at my highest point only to deflate me when they folded months later, a new opportunity arose to work with a music producer for free soon thereafter. (FOR FREE.) So why the hell would I leave?
The truth is, none of these cool and promising deals were sure things… they dragged on and on, with no sign of a goal to reach. And while a relatively comfortable lifestyle and flexible job are usually looked upon with envy at my age (no complaints), I had nothing to look forward to.
I grew antsy.
I was blindly working to work and living to live… or at least it felt that way. So when Chad came to me with the general idea for Stampabout, I called him soon after on a dreary January day locked in my basement room and said, “Let’s make that move to California we always talked about and do this thing for real.”
I could have waited for opportunities to pan out (or fail), but becoming comfortable was turning into a terrible feeling. I needed a change… so I picked up and changed. (Now I’m just frustrated that I haven’t become a California surfing legend yet.)
I could go on and on about opportunities that have come and gone because I “patiently waited” (i.e. apartment listings, holiday sales, freaking eBay auctions, etc.), but I guess my lesson learned is this:
Until the money is in the bank, until the contract has gone through, until my dreams have been realized… I’ll keep working toward my goals and be as impatient as I can possibly be.
Listen… I know my Mom wasn’t telling me to wait for opportunities to come. I’m sure she was hinting more toward simpler things like earning the privileges of growing up or hoping a Cleveland sports team might win something someday….
Or maybe it was because I used to weirdly run everywhere as a kid. Either way, I guess my point to my mom was… if you can get to where you want to go faster… why walk when you can run?
She didn’t argue.
How has impatience helped you?
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