Why I need to cultivate patience

I have been thinking about patience and wondering if it’s something I need to try harder to cultivate.

Why? Because when I get an idea in my head that really grips me, I turn into an unstoppable whirlwind and drive myself insane when I can’t make it happen instantly.

I read everything I can find on the subject of my new fascination. If the idea involves making something happen myself, I start sketching out plans and timelines and thinking about who to involve. If it requires someone else to make a decision or take some action, I look at who else I can influence to make that happen faster.

But often these ideas require waiting for something. A decision or a milestone or some funding or a technical thing or a person’s time. Things that are essentially out of my control.

So in the course of my waiting I get irritated by slowness of things I can’t do anything about. Website hosting that can take up to 72 hours – 72 hours! – to take effect before I can create a new website. People going on holiday or otherwise being busy doing something that’s not working on my idea – how dare they?! Day to day mundane things like eating and getting dressed – getting in the way of me working on my new idea, sigh! People not replying within 24 hours to my carefully crafted e-mails full of fascinating information – shocking!

Through the snow

And when I’ve done everything I can possibly do to make that thing happen, and the only thing left is waiting – then I finally slow down and take a breath. I survey the scene – the chaos, the plans, the knowledge, the communications, the things that I’ve created or researched. And then I really do have to wait.

Because sometimes things can’t happen quickly. Just because my idea might have been festering in my subconscious for a while, suddenly to break free when triggered by a random comment or a sudden epiphany, it doesn’t mean it’s meant to come to fruition right now. Sometimes things do need time to ferment, like a good wine.

And not all of my ideas are meant come to anything. Some are there to fill in time, to amuse me when I have nothing else to do. (I had one of those last January during a quiet period. For at least a week it was the best idea EVER. Until I’d done all the bits I enjoyed and realised that actually the rest of the idea involved things I didn’t enjoy. So I put that one down to experience and the idea didn’t continue. But it kept me amused when I needed it.)

Some ideas of course are very much meant to be, and need time to settle into the fabric of the universe before they can become reality. The ideas that tick all the boxes an idea should tick, and connect some of those dots that were waiting to be connected. Those are the ones that it’s worth waiting for, even though it’s frustrating.

So I definitely do need to cultivate some patience when it comes to ideas that are meant to be. To use my enthusiasm to gain momentum and do as much as I can – and then take a step back, go and do something else for a while, live life in the moment instead of the future – and wait for things to happen in their own good time. To have patience.

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