Success takes time. Time requires that you be patient. Patience is not always easy to achieve, but it is possible.
The last few weeks have truly tested my mettle and patience. A severe chest cold knocked me on my butt. Then, just when I thought I was going to recover, the pollen explosion sent me spiraling back down into agony. To add insult to injury, a freak storm did damage to my property this week.
It is very difficult to write meaningful content when you feel terrible. It’s almost impossible to write coherent material on cold medicine. To keep you from thinking I had slipped into a pattern of heavy drinking, I chose instead to take some time away from my blog and be patient.
And I missed it terribly!
With everything that has been going on, though, I have been reminded of an important life lesson.
Success rarely comes quickly, so you must always be patient. You must never stop trying.
Independent or Stubborn?
Independence is a key attribute of many successful people. Unfortunately, being independent sometimes feels incompatible with patience.
I can only imagine that I gave my parents quite the fit. They did their best to raise me properly, but I didn’t always make it easy.
I taught myself to ride a bike, and refused help even when both arms and legs were skinned, and I had suffered more than one groin injury.
Learning to tie a tie, learning to shave and learning how to care for injuries are all life lessons I taught myself. On more than one occasion, I suffered injuries that should have been addressed by a doctor, but I never told my parents. Instead, I set out to treating them myself with the plan to tell someone only if the wound got worse. Fortunately, that never happened.
It’s amazing I survived childhood.
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Independence and Patience
Being independent should not be a negative trait. In fact, it often leads to ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking. It’s not surprise that so many leaders and inventers were independent people.
Learning to be patient tempers the independent spirit. Patience teaches you to wait and keep trying. It makes you understand that failures aren’t fatal, and that sometimes goals can only be reached with the help of others.
Both of my parents were incredibly stubborn, so I come by my need for independence quite honestly. My wife constantly picked on me about it.
Being stubborn has its strength. In the end, I learned how to ride that bike, even how to ride no handed. I survived all my injuries. My ties now always feature an elegant Windsor knot. I have shaved more times than I care to remember.
Every lesson was finally learned by being patient.
As a child I did not fully understand, but success only comes when you refuse to stop. You may not reach you goal today. However, if you are patient, tomorrow just might be your day.
You can read more about why you should never give up in the following post.
Is it worth it to be patient?
The question, then, becomes, “Is it worth it to be patient?” You bet it is.
My debut novel, Getting Home, is not really my first novel. In fact, I have five other complete novels that I wrote as a young man.
I can’t explain exactly why I never pursued anything with those stories. The writer brain is often a harsh critic, so I never fully imagined that I could make a living with writing. Often I thought that no one would connect with my writing, so there was no point in sharing it.
Last year, I changed that mentality. I decided to throw caution to the wind and tossed Getting Home out into the world. It is definitely not selling at a pace to provide me with a living, but it did set a ball in motion that will eventually get me to that point.
This month’s Tale of a New Blogger post hasn’t gone live, yet. That’s partly because I am very discouraged by April’s numbers. Being sick much of the month is no doubt the reason for poor numbers, but it’s still disheartening.
That said, there is no intention on my part to give up. Six months in, I am still loving my blogging journey. I love planning, writing and illustrating blog posts. Sharing my current Work-in-progress – Paradise – gives me great joy. Recently, I was even inspired to write some new poetry which you can read below.
Success takes time. Keep reminding yourself of that fact.
What Are You Working Toward?
What is your goal? Do you have a plan that you are working toward?
Be patient. If you get discouraged, think about the steps you need to reach that goal. Which ones have you reached already? Let that success fuel you to move forward.
Have you slipped an fallen? That’s okay. Get back up and back into the fight. Success will come, if you are patient and don’t give up.
Do you need some motivation? Here are 12 great quotes you can apply in your life to make success possible.
Rome Wasn’t Built…
There’s no reason to finish that line. You have all heard in many times before when someone was trying to encourage you to keep going. Maybe it was because you missed the mark of the goal you were aiming for. It’s a very true statement.
So, how do you keep going?
First, be sure to celebrate the small victories.
Building a house is an excellent analogy. The first step in building a house is finding the right property and then the right location on the property.
Next, the site is leveled out and the foundation is constructed.
Sometimes, it is weeks and even months later before the framing begins. After the framing, the home is dried-in, or in other words, the roof is complete and the exterior doors and windows are all put in place. From the dried-in stage, many more weeks can pass before there is further progress.
Every goal is very much like building a house. The foundation is the bedrock of your future. It’s based in patience.
Each step could be likened to the framing of walls, building a roof, or adding doors and windows.
The point is, each step is integral to the final goal of having a complete home.
And That Means…
Writing a book, or any worthwhile project for that matter, is also not a steady forward moving process. Time and necessity (and sometimes illness) may force you to back away for a while. Writing yourself into a corner can take some time to overcome, often because difficult choices have to be made to correct the problem.
And editing. Ugh! Editing is murder. Ask any writer, and they will all pretty much tell you the same thing. Editing is the worst.
Yes, I am sliding a little off topic.
My point is that the final success of building a house or writing a book is built on many smaller successes along the way. That’s an important life lesson.
Celebrate Little Things
Take the time to celebrate the completion of the little steps, and it will be easier to be more patient until you achieve victory. Each mile marker is a move up to the top of your mountain. Celebrate each one.
Now don’t get my wrong, I didn’t see any contractors or homeowners celebrating when the framing or dry-in process was complete. But they could have.
Celebrate when you complete that chapter or word goal. Pat yourself on the back when you rework that particularly difficult passage. Sing from the rooftops when you finish editing a section of text.
OK, maybe not the last one unless you don’t have any neighbors nearby. I wouldn’t want any of my dear readers to be carted off to a padded room somewhere.
But you get my point. Each success is just that – a success. It’s too easy to get fixated on the long-term goal and fail to see the progress being made. Own that success and let it empower you to continue moving forward. By being patient, it will come.
But I’m Still Discouraged…
Some of you might be saying right now that despite the small successes, the ultimate goal seems too unattainable, so maybe you need to quit.
Stop. That. Thinking. Right. Now.
Or, if you absolutely have to have a pity party, give your permission to have that party today. However, that permission has to come with a condition.
Tomorrow, you have to get up with renewed vigor and dive back into whatever project you are working on. If you are writing, get back to writing. Are you are editing? Then keep editing, even through the tears and anguish that inevitably come with it. If you are building a house, go on to the next part of the building process.
For the time being, though, don’t think about your final goal. Instead, decide what the next step in your process should be and focus on that. If it’s writing 500 words or editing a chapter, that is now your goal.
Reach the goal. Celebrate. Pick the next goal. Repeat.
The big goal will come if you are patient and work hard.
You got this.
Yes, it’s true, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But when it was completed, what an amazing masterpiece it turned out to be.
Your work will be no different.
Until next time…
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