Within every last one of us, there is an inner 3 year old, proclaiming at the top of our lungs: “NOW!!! I want it NOW!!!” Doesn’t matter if it’s weight loss, improvement at the gym, a promotion, a raise, a new job, success with a project, or just getting your child to clean up their room, the primal cry is “I want it now!”
Only life doesn’t work that way. Chances are you’ve had to wait, be patient. Or take a step back, re-consider, re-vamp, take a different approach. And often it may seem like you’ve had to give up your hopes and dreams, because how long can someone wait?
But what if it wasn’t about waiting? What if is was more about trusting that if you’re doing the best you know how towards your goal, that somehow, some way, it will come through? And that maybe, you have some other desire that is interfering with your dream coming true right now?
I met with a very dear friend recently that I had not seen in decades; we live on opposite ends of the US. I’d known him as a young actor in Los Angeles. His acting career didn’t take off as he’d hoped, despite good reviews, so he went on to do other things – including move across the country. But his passion never waned. He used his acting talents to record books on tape, kept his craft up in other ways, and much to his surprise, now as he turns 50, he’s landed an agent and is consistently getting good parts in movies and TV.
I asked him about what he thought happened--apart from his never letting the dream die within himself--to bring about the change. He said, “You know, I’ve thought about it a lot, and I realize that hearth and home were more important to me than advancing my career. Whenever I’d see an audition call for a part that would take me away from home for more than a couple of days, I wouldn’t go for the audition. Which means that unlike my peers, who were getting parts in touring companies, amping their resumes, I was sticking close to my friends and family. Thus, a weak resume. But I didn’t think about it that way.”
Friends and family are still important to him, but he’s realized he doesn’t need to be with them all the time. He is free (within himself) to accept the roles that come along. My friend’s talent and true love of acting were never in doubt. I was so very happy for him that he could finally let them come through and enjoy the success he so very much deserves.
You may want to lose weight, but you don’t want to say “No” to dinner with friends. You may want to get to the gym, but you don’t want to be late to work. You may want a promotion, but you may not be willing to give up your family time to acquire the new skills you’d need. And you may really want your child to clean up their room, but you are reluctant to take the time for that conversation you fear may go nowhere.
Sometimes it’s not about waiting. It’s about sorting out “What do I really want, right now?” that stands in the way. Once you sort it out, you will still need to work towards your greater goal, but at least you won’t be stumbling over your own conflicting desires on your way to getting there.