Spring has sprung! You can feel it, see it, and taste it! I am in the mid-Atlantic region (Maryland) and we are in this little tug-of-war between the seasons…winter is trying to hold on while spring is making its big advance. Barely a week ago, we had a few days in the 70s and 80s, while at the end of last week, we had a bit of ice and mid-20s. Everywhere you look, you see signs of spring, from the blooming daffodils and cherry blossoms to the crack of the bat and the start of another baseball season (GO PHILLIES!). Yet, at the same time, reminders of winter keep coming up. Wherever you are, I hope you are excited for your new season and the hope and optimism that comes with the changing of the calendar. It is never too late for a fresh start and every season reminds me of that, so let us get going!
It is time for us to get back to the topic of patience from my last post. You might remember that patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. Today, I want to look a little deeper at this question: Is patience a sign of procrastination or progress? OK, so it is confession time again. For those that know me well, you know that I am a man of action – constant motion. In fact, my wife, Jennifer, says that as soon as I stop moving, I fall asleep – and I must admit that is true. While I do live life with a bias toward action, there are certain areas where I do tend to procrastinate. I try to convince myself that my procrastination is part of my preparation, because I will “do better” under the pressure of an approaching deadline, but I know that is just my rationalization and not reality. Honestly, I think it is my bias toward action that contributes to my challenges with patience! And, that challenge is with both myself and with others, especially when I do not feel that things are moving in the right direction or moving quickly enough. So, how should we view patience and how can we best utilize the inevitable time delay that comes with patience?
Whenever I am being challenged with delays in what I want to see happen, I must sit back and reflect on WHY the delays might be occurring. Is there a piece of knowledge that I am missing? Is there a teammate that I am missing? Are there supporters that need to fully “catch the vision” and become my advocates? What is the missing ingredient to moving forward? You see, the delays caused by patience can be viewed and utilized in different ways. A few examples are:
Pessimist – I will never get it to work - let us give up.
Procrastinator – I will get started later, since I perform best under pressure – let us relax.
Planner – I will plan out each step, but not act toward them – let us organize.
Progress – I will identify my needs, take steps toward fulfilling and be ready when my opportunity comes – let us prepare.
I am sure you can see where I am heading here. Having patience is critically important, but equally important is what you do during the time of delay. You can choose any of the “4-Ps” above, but I would contend that the best use of time would be progress – identifying your needs AND acting toward fulfilling those needs. The IOR - Intersection of Opportunity and Readiness, has two key components – Opportunities (which will require patience) and Readiness (which will require progress or preparedness). So, here is your challenge for today: identify what it is that you really want and what is holding you back, develop a plan to close the gaps, execute on your plan, and keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities. You will find that as you progress in taking steps in your readiness, opportunities will start to find you. Use patience and the time created by patience to your advantage by readying yourself for what you want. Do not procrastinate; start today! You will be glad that you did.
Thank you for reading today. If you are enjoying the blog, may I ask you to share it with your contacts across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or wherever you connect? Also, check out my Facebook page, IOR – The Intersection of Opportunity and Readiness, which can be easily shared and where all blog entries are posted, in addition to my blog site. Have a great day and I will see you next time.