Patience grasshopper, patience. We yearn to be the main character in a beautiful fairy tale. We seek a personal Holy Grail of enlightenment, discovering our calling, our purpose, and our salvation. With patience, we are rewarded with fascinating finds and beautiful discoveries; but often the discoveries are small, not the great enlightenment we expected. Don’t disregard these small learnings; the small pebbles of discovery must be collected, saved and integrated to reconfigure our lives. Our lives continue forward, following a trajectory from the past. If we wish to alter the course, we need patience because change takes time.
When we give purposeful effort to live better, our work often elevates experience. This honorable undertaking has powerful dividends; but like financial investments, they typically only pay over time and not with huge immediate rewards. A search for purpose intrigues and excites at first; but if the purpose we seek does not exist, we become frustrated depressed and lost. We must compliment these searches with health action. I call this action principle. An endeavor more grounded in reality, rather than a magical hope of what we expect to find. If our searches co-exist with efforts to become, they can add to the richness of our lives. However, these changes take time. We slowly move forward in patience, dosing the right things.
Small Sacrifices, Small Steps
We achieve financial security through sacrifice, budget and improved marketability of skills. These are the boring discoveries of financial success. Often the safe path to success fails to draw the same attention as the glitter and ringing arising from the beckoning of a slot machine. The lottery ticket approach to well-being is risky. A safer approach demands small behaviors that prepare a foundation for greater rewards.
We don’t discover our desired life; we create it—slowly molded from small, mundane behaviors—doing the right things over and over and over. This is the path to change. We persistently add small things to our ordinary life. We consistently subtract harmful things from our disappointing life. No magic, no surprises, just small consistent efforts. These changes take time.
To create the future we seek, we must allow time, lots of it, for transformations to take place. We must bombard the present with small, subtle changes. New seeds take several weeks to root and break through the soil; small behavioral changes don’t immediately reshape our existence, give changes time to mature and break through the hard shell of current circumstances. With patience and compassionate nurturing, the seedling grows, and strengthens; eventually the branches of change become weighted down with the fruits of living right.