Character Creates Opportunity® – The Waiting: Thursday, February 25, 2016

I think Tom Petty was right when he sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.”

There is excitement at the start of any major endeavor.  Whether it is a new job, the start of a relationship, the preseason for an athlete, or the “black Friday” kick off of the holiday shopping season, there is always a great deal of excitement in the beginning.

Then there comes the unspectacular, slow-moving grind between a great start and the exciting finish and the accomplishment of the goal.

As we continue to build and strengthen our character, the perspective we bring to the waiting period can make all the difference to the eventual outcome we are seeking.

It has often been said about athletic competition that the success achieved during the season is a direct result of the hard work and effort put in during the “off season” when there are no fans cheering and there is just the quiet of practice.

In pursuit of any academic endeavor, there is excitement at the start of the program and on graduation day, but in between is filled with the long, slow grind of the learning process.

Many close relationships have the excitement and “fireworks” at the start of the connection only to be replaced with the often unspectacular day to day plugging along of building a life together.

In the raising of children, parents work to do their best to build a strong foundation and prepare children to stand on their own in the world, then there is the waiting to see if they can actually do it.Sunset moment

The waiting period for life’s major events may seem like a long, slow grind with nothing happening, but in reality, this is the process of refinement.  Similar to the refinement process of removing impurities from the smelting of gold and silver, the waiting period is part of our own personal refinement to ensure the purity of our intent.

In the journey to build heath in a close relationship, it is the refinement of “me” not “you” that strengthens the relationship.  The refinement process removes the impurities of selfishness, stubbornness, and apathy to bring out the purity of love and sacrifice to make a close relationship work over the long term.

The preseason for an athlete is when the refinement process begins to shape and strengthen the mind and body to sustain health through the long, arduous season.

The process to achieve an advanced education takes time.  The waiting period between that exciting start and graduation day will remove the impurities of shallow motives and half-hearted effort only to reveal the purity of commitment and the quest for learning and growth.   

As we all will encounter the waiting in our journey towards the accomplishment of life’s goals, here are few thoughts to continue in the journey:

  • There are no overnight successes. We do ourselves a favor by eliminating that dream and replacing it with the reality that anything worth something is going to take time and effort to achieve…even “love at first sight” takes effort over the long haul to make it last.
  • Purification happens during the waiting and purification is essential to achieving a worthy goal. Time spent moving towards a goal takes effort and that effort removes a great deal of impurities to ensure what emerges is the purity of commitment and focus.
  • The learning and growing that occurs in the waiting period is what will build our strength to set the bar even higher after we complete the current goal we are facing.

As we gain perspective on the value of the waiting period and even though it is still “the hardest part,” we will continue to build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® to build great relationships and reach our full potential.

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