• Ben

Waiting on Summer



Good things come to those who wait. Patience is a virtue. The best things in life are worth waiting for. That's what the old proverbs regarding patience teach us. The idea of patience goes against all societal expectations of immediate gratification.


For example, when you eat out at a restaurant, you expect the food to be ready as soon as you place the order. God forbid the food takes a few minutes longer to prepare than you expect. If the food is not out on our schedule, it won't matter how amazing the food tasted. The lasting memory will be about the "poor customer service" and slight convenience caused by waiting an extra moment.


I am as guilty as anyone of expecting a great meal quickly or complaining about the current weather. It is human nature to complain about things beyond our control. If we get stuck in rush-hour traffic, we blame random drivers instead of reflecting on how we could have gotten out of bed sooner and leave home a few minutes earlier. The way we handle things beyond our control determines our fate in this world.


Instead of rushing to finish a work assignment or procrastinating crucial errands, write down your goals and tasks. A Harvard Business study showed that 3% of 1979 Harvard MBA graduates had clear, written goals and plans to accomplish them. Ten years later, In 1989, the interviewers interviewed the Harvard MBA Class of 1979 again. The 3% that had clear, written goals and plans earned ten times as much as the other 97% put together.


In life, we must be patient, but not complacent. We must not simply wait for the moment to carry us to glory. Don't wait, start planning. The world belongs to those who plan ahead. In Chicago, some summers start early and exhaust us from the heat and humidity. Most summers have their ups and downs. This summer is most unusual with its lack of heat (zero days above 84 degrees so far) and its monsoonal rains (2nd wettest spring ever).


Coming off a winter featuring some of the coldest temperatures in a generation and a stretch dating back to late September 2018 with below normal temperatures, most people are starved for true summer. However, after a few weeks of warmth, many of them will complain that it's too hot outside. The real issue is not the temperature, it's the temperament of the average person.


Too often, we don't appreciate the day-to-day moment. We wait impatiently for things beyond our control to change. Instead, we should be planning how to improve our outlook. When it rains, pull out the umbrella. Turn lemons into lemonade. Learn to be flexible and adjust to whatever is happening in our lives. The sooner we can harness our patience into productivity through planning, the sooner we can forget what the weather is outside.

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