Human beings are primed for immediate gratification, and if we don’t have to be patient, we won’t.
Which is unfortunate. Because despite our natural longing to do things quickly and instantly, the axiom of sustainability never changes.
Everything that lasts, starts out slow.
My publishing business took a few years to make sense, a few more years to make money, and even a few more years to make an impact. And on many days, my patience was hanging at the other end of a very thin thread.
But I stuck with it. And continued to stick with it. And seventeen years later, there’s no doubt the payoff was worth it.
Of course, much of it is my personality. The capacity for delayed gratification seems to have been hired wired into me from day one.
But understand, it’s not one hundred percent nature. There’s some nurturing in there too. Perseverance is a fire that needs oxygen. And so, things like playing high school football and learning an instrument at a young age and writing every day and practicing yoga and meditating regularly, each of these endeavors were refining fires. They forced me to get good at not going away. They challenged me to tap reservoirs of patience I didn’t know I had.
And now, my perseverance never ceases to amaze me.
Are you willing to play the waiting game between pain and will? How many activities are you engaged in that give you the chance to sit still and let something happen to you very, very slowly?
Because that’s where sustainability comes from.
Zen monks say the worst thing we can do with a difficult question is try and answer it too quickly. Perhaps life works the same way. We accept that waiting for things we want is hard and often takes agonizing effort.
But we trust that the process of getting there will be more than worth the slog.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How will you contribute to your reserve of patience this week?