We use the phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, to ultimately convey just how important it is to take the time to watch something small grow into something great. Whether it is a relationship, a city, a nation, a business or even something as small as an idea, it is imperative that we remember that those things that mean something, take time. Unfortunately there is a major obstacle that stands in the way of growth. We all have to deal with an almost impenetrable blockade when attempting to take steps toward growth, prosperity and happiness. And it happens on a global and a personal scale.
We have to deal with the fact that collectively, we are impatient.
Think of the last time you decided to eat healthier, to work out more or to make an effort to take off some pounds. It worked well for the first week, maybe even two. But once that weight loss began to plateau, or worse, reverse, what happened? If you’re like me, you got frustrated, became grumpy for the rest of the day and said, “To hell with this, I’m going to Baskin Robbins to try flavor number 17.” That was pretty much a monthly mantra for me. In fact, I said it just the other day.
Remember the day you opted to take guitar lessons? You bought a nice guitar and some accessories along with an amazing case. You certainly looked the part. You attended your first lesson and day one was awesome. You felt like you were on your way to becoming something special. Your instructor was even pleased and asked, “Are you sure you haven’t played before?” But then, after the first couple of weeks, you decided you were ready to play some Hendrix. Later on that night your wife came home and asked you why that guitar you just purchased was in the garbage can. Well, half of it anyway. The other half was inexplicably in the garden.
Amongst her roses.
Comparatively, as a nation, we have come a long way in a very short amount of time. But still, even with all of the advances and technology we have at our disposal, we still cannot build Rome in a day. Things that matter, things that are important and meaningful…these things take time. And it is important to remember that with any project or task we undertake. From relationships, to marriage, to child rearing, to developing and growing a business, to achieving peace in this nation and others…these things take time and if they are important to us we have to take the time to nurture these things and watch them mature.
If you’re like me, nothing is more exciting than beginning a journey or project that you have mapped out in your mind. That first day, when everything is set before you and you begin, can simultaneously be the most frightening and thrilling day of your life. And at the end of the day, when you look back and see immediate results from your efforts…well…few things in life top that feeling. The excitement fills you, heart and soul and you become so anxious that you cannot sleep because you just want to keep going. It is the moment when passion and dreams collide and all that stands before you is the promise of hope and good fortune.
But in the shadows, doubt and insecurity are lingering. And they too plan and dream and hope and build and eventually give birth to impatience.
You see, that is was impatience is. It is us, allowing our doubt and insecurity to linger, fester and grow into something that scares us. It scares us so much that we say, “I can’t wait. If I can’t have it now I just don’t want it because at this rate…I’ll never have it.” And so, we walk away from it. We walk away from what could have been because we allowed ourselves to be influenced by the potential for a negative outcome.
But what about the potential for a positive outcome?
Think of the most successful people in the world, in any industry and imagine what life would be like if they had given in to doubt and insecurity. Now, think of the happiest person you personally know and imagine what life would be like if they gave in to the same thing. I am by no means saying that these people did not feel those things or experience them on some level, and quite possibly, with some frequency. No, that would make them inhuman. What I am suggesting though, is that they did not allow themselves to be overruled by those feelings. They began their journey, their project on day one and allowed themselves to feel the joy that came from that first day of success…every day.
Change is possible. You can become more and achieve your dream if you work at it and treat each day like it’s the first day. And so, in light of the challenges occurring across the nation, I now issue a challenge to you. Whether it’s for a job, a project, the love of your life, your education, raising your child…whatever it may be…treat each day like it’s the first day as you begin working toward developing and growing something that is important to you.
And for this, you can leave the ice in the freezer and use it to make a drink later to toast your success.