Lessons in Waiting
Years ago, I remember taking a personality test as part of a leadership class. The instructor looked up at me and started to explain the results. She was laughing as she explained my patience level, which was exactly zero on the chart. Full of positive energy and spin, she showed how patience and a sense of urgency are flip sides of the same trait. I may not have any patience, but the good news is that I was driven and was full of urgency.
Waiting is not one of my best skills. If there is a long wait for a table at a restaurant, it is unlikely I will stay.
Picking up my friend Jeff Goins’ book, The In-Between, I was not even through the introduction when I realized how convicting this book was to me.
“We all want to live meaningful lives full of experiences we can be proud of. We all want a great story to tell our grandchildren. But many of us fail to recognize that the best moments are the ones happening right now.”
Ahem. I put the book down, picked up my highlighter, and then read on.
“Maybe the good stuff isn’t ahead of or behind us. Maybe it’s somewhere in between—right in the midst of this moment, here and now.”
Jeff’s powerful message hits me squarely in the midst of my busyness.
After a few weeks of contemplating the book, I reached out to Jeff to talk about his latest book.
Jeff, we are all so busy. Everyone seems to be rushing to get somewhere and do something. You look at that time differently. What made you pause and look at the “in-between”?
The birth of my son, Aiden. When he was born, everything seemed to slow down. But the irony was that whenever I spent some time away, due to a work trip or something, I ended up missing a lot. During the time that I was gone, my son had learned something new, some new expression or saying. And I realized that when I miss even a moment, I miss a lot–with Aiden, and with the rest of my life, and I don’t want to miss a thing.
So I wrote this book about the moments we tend to miss, about the times in between the milestones in our lives — and how those just might be the most important parts of life.
The subtitle of the book is Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing. Again, that’s counter to what we learn. Usually we want to let go of tension. You want us to embrace it. What do you mean and how do you do it?
Tension is inevitable. It’s part of our lives. Either, we learn to embrace it or deny its reality. But the fact that there are slower, less exciting times of life is a reality; what we do with those times is what makes our lives interesting… or not.