Honestly, the fact that this blog has taken me so long to finish does not escape me as ironic.
As I write this I will admit it has taken me a long time, and I have been going through some tremendous personal shifts in how I look at my world.
It all began a few months ago when I sat next to a friend in a hometown restaurant. We drank beer and caught up after a year apart. An hour into our conversation she looked at me and asked, “How do you manage to do all that you do?”
This question seems to find me a lot, and I am always fascinated by it because the truth was I never really felt like I was doing that much. I felt that I needed to do more. If only I wrote more, interviewed more, networked more, and watched Netflix less, then maybe I would achieve things faster. But here’s the thing, what if less is actually more? This is strange thing to say, but give me a minute to explain.
When I say, “less is more” I don’t mean that you should stop taking the actions you need to take in order to pursue your dreams and passions in life. What I mean is that the subconscious act of seeking more can create blindness to the experience of what success truly is: The experience “IS” the success.
The connection to your work, passion or goal; the growing bonds of relationships; the small moments and the decisions that lead to moments of pure connectedness, are what count. Where you feel it all makes sense that you aren’t alone, and even when you feel that you are, making your way through the rubble and embracing the light on the other side of adversity, constitutes success. Maybe those small moments that seem “less than” great are actually the greatness you are seeking.
Our entire lives we are taught about expectation and how to focus on the outcome. Graduate high school, go to University or college, get a job or find a career, settle down with a significant other, have a child (or don’t), retire, grow old, then transition to light.
Everyone’s experience with expectation looks different and as I grow older the Pareto Principle of the 80/20 rule begins to make more sense.
As I celebrate my 38th year many things have dawned on me. One of those things was understanding the expectations that I put on myself.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of when my life changed forever. There are moments when people pray for miracles, for things to change, or to be given an opportunity that seemed impossible. That is how I felt when it came to my Epilepsy.
At 18 the future was not looking as bright as I had envisioned. I looked around at my peers and I was aware that my reality of higher education might not unfold how I dreamed it would. Luckily, I was given the gift of brain surgery that changed everything. Not only had my goal of attending university became a reality, but I would do it seizure free.
After my surgery I experience a lot of things, but one thing that become apparent, and that had stuck with me for years down the road, was a thought pattern I was unaware I had created and subconsciously followed. In my mind I had been given a second chance at life and I could not waste a minute of it. I had to work hard, not matter what, to prove to “God” or the universe, or if we are going to be truthful, to “myself” that I was worth of this second chance.
So, I became an “Achiever Junkie.” Fall on my face? No problem, I was the queen of dusting myself off and continuing on the journey.
When I met my teacher John Beasley in Australia, who I speak about in my book, Dear Cole, Never Say Never, he called me out on my inability to live in the moment; that I was always seeking the next high.
I resented his remarks. Or should I say, “I resented the truth.”
I wanted everything now, faster, before time ran out. My subconscious believed that the end was near and never truly left survival mode. Patience was a virtue I did not possess, but as I grew older I realized that I was also in the pursuit of patience. Oh the irony.
Twenty years has come and gone, and as Neil Donald Walsh discusses in his book, “Conversations with God,” I realize I am no longer learning, but instead, merely remembering who I already am.
That one experience I had at 18 influenced so many of my experiences throughout two decades. If I could go back I might tell myself to simply enjoy the small moments because they too are just as important as the grandiose moments you aspire to create.
Then again, maybe I wouldn’t, because without all of those experiences I wouldn’t be writing this today.
This year has been an extremely transformational year and I have achieved a lot (even if in my mind I believed I did not). If I were to summarize what I have learned in pursuing patience and success, I would break it down into these ten simple principles:
- Goals and dreams are important. They give you something to strive for especially when you need to find strength when overcoming adversity. Having goals and dreams create a fiery passion for life that is unbeatable. When you achieve that goal you are able to see how amazing the mind truly is as a manifesting tool.
- Write it down. If you want your goal or dream to come into your life faster and more efficiently, writing it down is the most effective way of achieving this. That act alone makes it clearer in your mind, and helps you focus on the steps required in obtaining the outcome you desire.
- Don’t get caught up in the fantasy. Sometimes it’s really fun to live in the fantasy of that goal or dream. It creates endorphins and you feel like you are flying high. You begin to put so much expectation on yourself to achieve the fantasy that when the reality doesn’t match up you lose interested and give up on your goal.
- Stop, look around, and appreciate the journey. This is one step I only started to appreciate lately. You are so busy trying to achieve your goal and dream that it is easy to have the experience slip through your fingers, and those really cool moments become memories that went by too quickly. Learn to be present in your experience. It’s that experience that become the story of your success.
- Don’t let the story define you. You are a multi-layered spiritual being with so many qualities. Your story is not who you are, it is only a part of the equation. Even if it were the main part of your journey, remember that there are multiple chapters and multiple series options, not just a one-off version of you. (wow, writer symbolization at work)
- Be kind to yourself. When you start to strive for a goal or dream, I guarantee you that at some time or another you will fall flat on your face, and it will hurt…A LOT! It is so easy to get down on yourself and wonder why it is taking so long, or wonder what you have done to create such chaos. Take into consideration point 3. The journey may not always be easy, and what appears to be failure may be a blessing in disguise leading you to awesomeness. Appreciate the journey.
- Persistence goes a long way. Taking action is important, even if it is a little bit each day. That could even mean just thinking about your goal. If you’re thinking about it then it is still in your conscious mind, and you are creating intention around it. Some days are harder than others to find the urge to do anything around your goal, and Netflix is a fun distraction, but relax. As long as you take responsibility for yourself and know that you taking the proper steps in achieving the outcome you desire, a binge-watching day here and there will never hurt you;in fact, it might even rejuvenate you.
- Let go of the outcome. I am often a control freak when it comes to this one. I want to know the outcome, but it doesn’t work that way. If you let go of the outcome and always state, “This or something better manifests for me for the highest good of all concerned” you might get something ten times more amazing that the outcome you visualized.
- Have Faith & Be Patient. Your goal or dream is not going to happen overnight. It might take months or years to come into fruition, but just remember the old saying, “All good things come to those who wait.” There are very few success stories where the person achieved their goal or dream overnight. So again, have faith it will come to you and appreciate the journey.
- Enjoy the fruits of you labour. When you finally achieve that goal or outcome, really take the time to enjoy it. Bask in the feeling of achievement. The more you feel gratitude and love towards yourself and others, the more goals and dreams you will fulfill because like attracts like. Don’t be afraid to share how you achieved your goal or dream. It helps prolong the feelings of satisfaction when you are helping others overcome their minds/situations just like you did. Have fun and feel proud. You are worth it.
“The pursuit of patience will always be a pursuit until you take the time to be patient while you are pursuing it.” – Cara Jones