The Power of Patience

Yesterday I found this fellow gracing my patio. He is so regal it takes my breath away. I’ve seen him around here before. It appears he’s established himself as a seasonal resident.

If you don’t know me, I should explain I live on a small man-made body of water called Lake Mirage. I’ve studied this bird a lot. In my estimation, he possesses an admirable quality, one I often lack. Yep, that characteristic is patience.

Perspectives. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.

Whether resting in quiet contemplation or eyeing his next meal, my big bird friend waits, and waits and waits without flinching. Then, at the perfect moment he goes in for the catch of the day. Voila! Mission accomplished, dinner is served.

Do you have trouble mastering patience? If so, please read on. If not, I urge you to read on anyway and please leave a comment explaining how you keep calm and carry on while the rest of us are chomping at the bit to move forward when we should be more like big bird and wait it out.

You may think patience is a passive act. On the contrary, it’s more about control which takes focus and energy. For example, if I placed a wrapped gift in front of a five year old and told her not to open it for five minutes, you can bet the poor little tyke would expend all kinds of energy waiting out the clock.

Someone once defined patience as “the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.” So how do you notch it down from full speed ahead to slow and steady wins the race?

Begin by defining what gets under your skin. If it’s the wait that does you in, start using some positive self talk. Take comfort in the fact that patience builds character.

Stopping to pause also results in better decision making. No doubt my big bird friend patiently passes on the tiny appetizer fish and nabs one large enough to whet his appetite.

This water fowl taught me another lesson about patience in thought and movement. He never runs but moves gracefully covering the ground in long strides. I on the other hand have a tendency to rush, to move too fast, hurrying along like a dizzy chicken in a frenzied manner.

It’s taken some time, but I’m learning to emulate the stately big bird by being mindful and carefully considering the journey on my way to the goal line.

The next time your patience is tested think of my big bird buddy at Lake Mirage. Slow it down, think it through, and step on the brakes. Doing so will help you be more resourceful and productive.

 

 

 

Ignite Your Passion

set your goals

On the way to the airport an enthusiastic cabbie entertained me explaining in detail his passion for soccer. Over the course of a twenty minute ride, I learned a good deal about the sport most countries, with the exception the USA, refer to as football.  Martin, my driver, who originally hails from Kenya, offered up at least seventeen reasons why soccer is the world’s most popular sport. When I inquired how often he plays the game, he looked at me sheepishly. Meeting my puzzled expression young Martin wistfully replied maybe someday he’ll get on the field again to boot the ball into the net.

While my plane departed from the gate I pondered the reasons people fail to pursue their passions. Each 24-hour period gives us an opportunity to push ourselves beyond the norm. Why not use that time pursuing goals that bring us joy and satisfaction? What stops us?

Excuses
Sure, we can feed ourselves the line that we are beyond busy, but we know that is just a lame excuse. Growing up, whenever I complained I was too busy to tackle a job, my mother stopped me in my tracks by reminding me if I wanted something badly enough I could make the time to do it. Yes, dismissing my excuses with a little tough love worked wonders.

Fear of Failure
As a career coach, I find fear of failure is often a stumbling block preventing individuals from pursuing their heart’s desire. I know, sometimes looking at the big picture of a total career makeover is scary. My advice to anyone faced with a challenge appearing insurmountable is: Think small. That’s right, small as in baby steps. Whether it’s a career change, a move across the country or tackling a remodel on your home, the magic begins when you break it down into actionable steps.

believe in yourself

Getting Started
Another common lament is not knowing where to begin. Professional tennis player Arthur Ashe put it best when he said, “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Getting started need not be complicated. Take some time to brainstorm a path then commit it to writing. You can always make course corrections along the way. Just begin.

As I said good-bye to Martin at the airport I offered up two tips. The first, a monetary thank you for his safe driving and soccer tutorial. My second tip, which I also offer anyone reading this column is…

motivational message live your dream

take one of your “maybe someday dreams” and turn it into a reality. No more procrastinating! Start today by implementing one small step.  Just one action and you are on the road to success. Go for it! I know you can do it!

Optimists Whistle While They Work

Motivational concept with handwritten text TODAY IS YOUR DAY

Recently I spent some time at The Happiest Place on Earth. Strolling down Main Street, I encountered some pals of the lovely Snow White. Based on personality type, three of these characters reminded me of individuals we alI know.

Three Personality Types:

Happy, the dwarf providing laughter and adding joy to the lives of the others, is easy to love. He is the personification of my optimist friends who consistently find the good in every situation. An optimist excels at positive thinking and knows tough times won’t last. This admirable characteristic is worth emulating. Granted, finding the silver lining amidst stormy dark clouds is not always an easy feat,

Create Your Sunshine

but if you work hard enough, it is doable. In addition to creating a sunny persona, optimism promotes an aura of peace, increases patience and helps develop resilience in the face of adversity.

The polar opposite of the endearing Happy is the formidable character Grumpy. Easily irritated by the troop, this dwarf is argumentative and prone to finding fault. Labeled a pessimist,

crazy monster

we all have experienced and typically avoid individuals possessing the Grumpy personality.

The Huntsman is the realist in this fantasy film. Chartered by the jealous Queen to lure Snow White into the forest and kill her, he realizes this task clashes with his moral code. Bottom line, our Huntsman urges the fair maiden to escape. Who can fault realistic people? They often take a zero expectation stance. Much can be said for keeping your expectation level in check. It’s like entering life’s stage in protective armor. You cannot get hurt or disappointed if you expect nothing from a situation. This quality helps eliminate an individual’s need for kudos and constant appreciation. Realists do their best and that’s where it ends. They to not measure success by how many likes a post gets on Facebook, or the number of “atta-boys” tossed their way.

Perhaps a large segment of the population are realistic-optimists, a scientific term I just made up. (Smile). Individuals possessing this personality type know success is far from effortless. Planning carefully, and working diligently at achieving set goals, realistic optimists go about their work with a upbeat attitude.

Whether you fall into the realist camp, the optimist group, or somewhere in between, beware of pessimistic tendencies. Negative thinking spirals into lethargy and depression. According to Web MD and other medical experts, attitude matters

Beautiful blond girl jumps over green grass

when it comes to your health. Studies reveal pessimists are more likely than their counterparts to suffer from diabetes, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol.

So this week, take a lesson from the Disney gang: Be happy, mix in a large dose of reality and experience pleasure in your journey. And, if possible, follow Snow White’s sage advice.

“When hearts are high, the time will fly, so whistle while you work. “