Lately, the smallest things have really tested my patience: emails or texts that don’t get returned in a timely manner (or not at all); applying for jobs that I don’t get; Portland traffic; and online ads that hijack articles I’m reading. And then there’s Comcast.
I recently was asked during a job interview “what frustrates you in the workplace?” I thought about it and then responded, “people who aren’t as passionate or work as hard as I do.” Essentially, people who don’t seem to care.
I started my blog over a year ago and I have nowhere near the page views or social media followers I want—or need for greater impact. My Small Change initiative, while having some success (for which I’m extremely grateful), isn’t where I thought it would be after a year of working tirelessly. I want more people to care—this comes from my desire to help people and make the world better.
I know that numbers don’t define my success and I recognize that I need to be patient. That’s the thing about having a passion—it takes time to build and nurture. And people do care, but I need to find them or give them time to find me. As mentioned, though, patience isn’t my strongest point these days.
The irony is that on the trail I have patience. I slug away mile after mile, often for hours at a time; it isn’t always easy, but I do it. I sign up for races that are months away and plan my training schedule accordingly to work up to my goal distance. As runners, we get faster and stronger by doing the work; it doesn’t happen overnight. If we DNF at a race, we have to wait a year to try again—and we’re okay waiting. We need to be patient—it’s part of the process.
Google “quotes about patience” and you’ll be rewarded with enough encouragement to inspire even the most hardened criminal or cynic. Here’s a quote that is now plastered on my office wall:
“Patience is the ability to count down before you blast off.” – author unknown
In a world where technology provides us with instant gratification (same-day retail delivery, immediate video streaming, etc.) it’s also making us perpetually impatient—heck, you don’t even need to wait in line at Starbucks anymore if you text your order in advance. If a website takes too long to download or there’s too many pop-up ads, chances are I’ll close the page and move on. And I’m probably not alone.
I’m learning the best remedy for impatience is to focus on those things that bring you joy—and for me, it’s of course, running (if all else fails, try a few deep breaths). I hope that my patience on the trail will seep into my world off the trail until I blast off.
To all those out there with big ideas and dreams, I hope today’s blog post encourages you to keep pushing forward and not give up. It will happen, but it may just take a little patience.