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Recently, while sitting on my board waiting calmly for the next set of waves to come through, I realised I was engaged in an activity that could (and should) be used in many other areas of my day, work week, and life. This engagement is “active patience” and is the time in our daily lives where we are completely switched on, prepared and ready to participate in what’s taking place, yet maintaining the reserve and serenity to know what to act on and when to pass. You can replace the ocean setting with the meeting room, dinner conversation, conference call and so forth, and the principles are the same. Stay alert and aware of all that is taking place around you, however do not force yourself to act at every opportunity. Sit back, assess and get involved with only what you know you can take on. Allow yourself to take challenges and step outside of your comfort zone, but the key here is maintaining the patience before acting. I have found this to be especially important to me as I am a project-based freelancer and though I tend to get excited and optimistic about everything that crosses my path, it has become more and more important to know what I just cant, or shouldn’t take on. Passing on things that are outside of your scope of ability (for whatever reason) is as – if not MORE important than taking on new things. Doing less and focusing on what you can do best will have a greater impact on the rest of your projects and your own motivation than trying to take on everything that comes your way. Trust me on this one. Whether you are surfing inclined or not, imagine yourself losing focus and taking on a wave far bigger than what you are prepared for simply because you were there at the time. What are the consequences? Often we need to ‘check in’ and allow ourselves pass on what’s next to prepare for what’s best. As said very poignantly by Benjamin Franklin, “He that can have patience, can have what he will”. Good luck and happy ‘surfing’.

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