Learning to Wait Thoughts on the Waiting Game

 

Last week was eventful. A close friend welcomed a new baby girl into the family while another dear friend said a final loving good-bye to her mother. What both events had in common was a period of waiting. Joyful anticipation built over the months as the new mom and her extended family prepared for the birth of a child. On the flip side, those who have experienced a loved one deal with a lingering illness know tremendous pain as those precious minutes slip away.

There are different types of waiting periods in life. Waiting to meet your soul mate, waiting for a house to sell, waiting for a cappuccino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

at your favorite coffee shop, waiting for summer to begin and the list goes on and on.

In the past, I totally sucked at waiting fervently wishing I could fast-forward time. Perhaps that is a common ailment in our “I want it now,” world. True, some things are out of our control and waiting periods fall into that category. Over the years I’ve learned to utilize the wait time wisely and respect the process.

Whoever coined the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait,” had a point. For example, a few years ago one of my single clients (let’s call her Tami) was obsessed with finding a mate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She went through one of those “What’s wrong with me,” scenarios.  Tami was a beautiful hard working accountant but spending most of her waking hours at the office took a toll on her ability to converse about anything other than balance sheets and journal entries.

My suggestion involved reducing her working hours to make room for a hobby. Following through with this plan Tami enrolled in a number of gourmet cooking classes and even began blogging about vegetarian cuisine.

 

By busying herself with a hobby, and back-burnering her focus on waiting for “the one” to show up, she began feeling fulfilled outside of the office.

 

Oh, and did I mention Mr. Wonderful eventually surfaced? Turns out she married the chef instructor of her Pastry 101 course. (Yes, good things do come to those who wait).

 

 

 

Tami’s experience can be applied to most periods of time requiring we patiently go into a holding pattern.

So how do you deal with an event you wish you could hurry along? First, accept that “wait” is not a nasty four letter word. Change your focus and make some plans while you’re sitting it out.

By doing so, in the interim, you might find you’re having the time of your life.

A Wall Worth Celebrating My Tribute to a Special Dad

 

My father-in-law was a very special guy. He was a hardworking man who loved life but what I remember most was the way he took pride in family wins.

Dad created a“Wall of Fame”along a hallway leading to his bedroom.

In an area most people would find the area suitable for beautiful art, he proudly displayed proof of any family achievement.

If a grandchild won a certificate for 1st place in a spelling-bee it hit the wall, when a his off-springs graduated copies of diplomas were framed and hung, and when I received a promotion, evidence of my corporate climb received billing on the wall. The entire family loved that wall, it spurred us on to work harder and aim higher, but most of all it taught us to celebrate success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All too often we set goals and make the upward climb forgetting to pause at the top of our mountain and savor the view. Stop for awhile, do your happy dance and take a well earned bow. Savor and enjoy the kudos sent your way from friends and family.

While you’re doing a victory lap, consider those who supported you.  Our star speller received encouragement and word drilling from a parent which helped her win the contest. Like our word queen, you probably didn’t get to the goal line without some help.  Be sure to pull your team into the celebration. Honor them with words of gratitude and praise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By sharing your good feelings you inspire others to forge on and capitalize on their dreams.

For multiple reasons, it’s important to avoid rushing on to tackle the next goal. Slow down and spend some time processing the win you just scored. Analyze what you learned, what worked, what didn’t, and which skills need improvement.

On your way to the next goal, mindfully elevate the journey. Take the time to celebrate the smaller milestones achieved en route.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doing so provides increased motivation to continue and bolsters self-esteem. Reward yourself with some small token, because you earned it. Experiencing joy in the journey is the point. If you wait until the deed is done to feel fulfilled, you may be waiting a very long time. By prolonging the sensation of those good dopamine vibes, you risk discouragement and defeat.

If I learned anything from the man who created the display of family accolades, it is all of the above. Although sadly both Dad and his wall are gone, I thank him for teaching me to celebrate not only my wins but each step along the way.

Overcoming a Lack of Motivation

Ever find yourself in a motivational slump? Last week as I viewed large pockets of free time on my calendar I was practically doing back flips thinking of the precious hours I could spend advancing on my goals. Turns out, it didn’t happen that way. What happened was a total lack of motivation, followed by frittering the hours away, ending in a period of zero progress.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Determined not to let this happen again, I resorted to research. Needing stimulation beyond my own self coaching  I scanned through some motivational blogs and came up short. Everything read like the same old blah, blah, blah that ran through my head. Nothing signaled a brain spark until I noticed a post by Olympic athlete, Inga Stasiulionyte.

Now I was onto something. If anyone could help me carve a path out of this listless do-nothing fog, a javelin thrower turned executive coach had a chance. Obviously anyone who followed her dream all the way to the Beijing Olympic Games knows something about victory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I studied her approach to success, it all boiled down to one common theme. Discipline. Okay, nothing new, we all know it takes commitment and focus to get to the goal line, however, in this simple sentence Inga offered up a key to get me back on track. “Build a no-matter what mindset.” Aha! You see all week long I gave myself permission goof-off. I decided if I could permit a lax attitude, I could also create a no-matter what mindset.

While testing it out the next day I encountered some resistance. After working on my top priority for twenty minutes, I found myself cleaning out a desk drawer. Obviously my brain preferring to operate on auto-pilot wasn’t buying into this new mindset thing. Faced with the choice of rearranging my desk or returning to work I vacillated for a moment. As I surveyed the objects in the drawer I spied a big black marker.  Grabbing the fat pen and a sheet of paper I wrote in large black letters “no matter what” and stuck it on the wall in front of me. Eyeing that powerful phrase was exactly what I needed to kick me back into action.

This new mindset worked again the next day. You see, I live in the desert and was late getting out for my power walk. Feeling like the heat was getting to me I considered cutting my trek short. Taking a deep breath I looked up at the sun and proclaimed (yep…you guessed it) no matter what! It was all I needed to suck it up and finish my walk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s face it. Human beings fall into slumps that thwart progress. When the doldrums take over, search out a role model who didn’t give up. Grab on to a motivational mantra and push yourself forward. Although I cannot correctly  pronounce Inga’s last name, I assure you I will never forget her for inspiring a “no-matter what” mindset. Game on!