Sunday, August 8, 2010

Confidence & Patience

It occurs to me that dreams are made up of two things: confidence and patience. Both elements must be at work in order for a dream to turn into a reality. Sometimes I'm good with one side and not the other, and then it will flip and I'll realize that I'm long on confidence and short on patience.

So much of life is out of our control. We can do our part (confidence) and still have to wait for all of the elements that we can't control (patience). I believe, somewhere very deep inside, that I will become a professional writer, earning money at what I love to do. I just don't know when this magical event will occur, and I have no earthly way to know, and I'm slowly coming to understand that I don't need to know. I just need to walk in faith, and keep writing, and believing that somewhere along the line, my dream will become real.

Often we want so much from ourselves, and we want it all right now, and then we are disappointed and give up too easily. I was the worst person on the face of the planet for delayed gratification when I was an adolescent and a young adult in my twenties. I didn't want things now, I wanted them yesterday. I lived in a perpetual state of frustration, punctuated by an occasional burst of happiness when I actually got what I wanted.

Getting married and then having children really helped me with this. I slowed down internally, recognized that my needs came lower on the priority totem pole, and learned to be okay with that. I started to take the long range view of my goals for my kids and for my family and eventually for myself. Working toward something for years has a much greater payoff than expecting results in hours or days. There is a joy that is tied into patience and diligence, and you can't circumvent the process in order to get there. You must wait, and stoke up your confidence in yourself along the path so you keep walking, with one foot in front of the other, and don't give up.

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