Persistence – How Long Will It Take?

I really hate waiting. Especially when it’s something I want or I think I want. That makes the wait even worse. As a kid, birthdays and Christmas were two events I hated to wait for. When I got older, it became parties or getting a paycheck. And now that I’m a little bit older, I find myself waiting on some other things: getting recognized, possessing a proper writing platform, a new idea worth digging into, to name a few. But yes, waiting for a paycheck is still in the mix too (as it should be). However, I find myself struggling to remain patient – or at the very least, defining what a healthy version of patience looks and acts like.

I find this to be one of life’s more difficult dances to perform. Running over other people will eventually ruin the road you’re on, but don’t get to running and you yourself will be trampled. Not everyone runs at the same pace, but simultaneously we are all running the same race. So how does one do this gracefully? Or rather, effectively?

For one, we must be willing to make mistakes. When I finished my first two books, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. “Hey, I made it” – that was my new mantra. But, just as Rome was not built in a day, neither is a successful author. People who read my material – and had the opportunity to speak with me on it – would inform me of a few grammatical snafus I didn’t catch and yes, I felt like recalling every last order and throwing the book out for good.

But, my failure was ultimately good. I needed to know that I couldn’t count on the first book I wrote to be a raving success. There were pieces and parts to this journey I couldn’t have seen until I started off upon it. Mistakes were inevitable, the journey was not had I remained on the sidelines.

Secondly, we must be willing to know the difference between observation and initiation. I wouldn’t learn much about driving cars if all I did was read about the process. It’s when I take the wheel and drive that I find where my limitations lie and where I have basic understandings already mastered. Oftentimes, I feel like I can wave my flag proudly if I’m well-read on a certain subject; letting my opinion fly like it matters. But, if I haven’t actually experienced the topic I’m claiming to be an authority on, then I really don’t have a platform to state my case at all.

Like, every voice who claims he or she should be boss but knows nothing of the responsibilities that go along with being the boss, there’s a clear space between the two. Even if it’s invisible to the person who thinks he knows what’s best without knowing much.

Lastly, if we are called to do something, then we must keep listening to that voice that is calling. This is probably the most confusing of the three and the easiest one to mess up too. I used to think that a “calling” was something big, dramatic – HUGE. Like, a person who feels “called” to one day be a CEO or a famous musician, a calling tends to get mixed up with false aspirations; possessing an image of one’s self where we are highly influential and always on center stage. The problem with that thinking, if you are willing to be taught otherwise, is that it’s extremely self-centered and self-serving.

Everyone wants to feel important and to be recognized – much like how I want to be with my writing career – but if I feel my calling is all about taking center stage, then I’m always going to be fall short of what that calling is after. There are tinier battles to be won and seemingly less important stakes to win that will ultimately lead to that position of influence. Because a calling is meant to help you so that you may help others, not to help you feel better about who you think you ought to be in other people’s eyes. And that means taking the hits, taking the setbacks, and doing so with the persistence that I must continue listening to the voice that called me out, not the one that tells me to die where I stand.

I would encourage anyone who thinks their persistence isn’t paying off for them to consider that a little more time may be all that’s required to get to the next step.

As I sit and type this, I am reminded that I have a book being released in just two days and about a half dozen more coming down the pipe soon. That’s something to stay persistent about.





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