It was so ridiculous and pointless - just like most brain-drain social media posts, I suppose - but it was also one of those images that became stuck in my head. How often do you feel like this? I mean, REALLY feel like this? I've felt this way more lately than I can ever remember - and it's tough. Anxiety has got to be one of the most difficult emotions to suppress. If you're like me - and I'm assuming if you're reading this then we likely share number of similar characteristics - it is not in your nature to sit back and watch the world go by. You need to be doing something; you need to be planting some seed or nurturing one that you've previously sown. Sitting and watching is next to impossible.
Then, later last night, I was watching Shark Tank. A guy came on with an idea to sell coffee out of a "hot" refrigerator. The "refrigerator" keeps cans of coffee warm (you know, like those energy drink size cans of Starbucks you see at the 7-Eleven). But basically, it's a vending machine for coffee; the version below is for home use, but his larger models are to be placed in movie theatres or convenience stores, etc.
I actually kind of like the idea, but that is beside the point. HE HAD BEEN WORKING ON IT FOR 6 YEARS AND PUT IN AROUND $2 MILLION OF HIS OWN AND BORROWED MONEY TO DEVELOP IT! And it isn't even to market yet. Wow! He claims he came up with the idea from the Japanese and that it is a $14 billion industry. He has a few companies interested in testing it, but no current customers and none of the Sharks bit.
You've got a plan in place to reach your goal, you've executed or are in the process of executing it, and now you're wondering when the results will begin to reflect your effort. You go back over each and every step of your plan - fine tune your spreadsheets, edit your business plan for the 30th time, review your reach out attempts, etc. etc. etc. - and you just can't seem to find what it is that is keeping you and your idea from blossoming.
This episode, along with the sloth picture, had me thinking, "When do you give up?" and "How long do you wait?" and "What do you do while you're waiting?" I deemed the last question most important for a couple of reasons: 1) I figured "Good things come to those who wait" - but, more accurately:
I firmly believe that you if you devote the required amount of time and effort to ANYTHING, your goal will be achieved - maybe in a different sense than what you had originally planned, but achieved nonetheless. And 2) Keeping busy keeps your mind off of the task that is causing you the heartburn. "A watched pot never boils!" (Full of the cliché cheesy quotes today . . . sorry!)
As for the first two questions, I am prepared to not give up and also to wait as long as possible for the world to catch up to my manifestation. So, then, how do you pass the time? The following is a list of ideas to help the restless 'you' survive the inevitable waiting period before your goals come to fruition:
1) Whatever you do, DO NOT let failure creep in. The Hotshots guy from above has been at it for 6 years. A couple of the Sharks were advising him to give up; others were supporting his tenacity and stamina. I think his waiting period may have come to an end. Even though he didn't reach a deal with the Sharks, he had the exposure of national television. That alone has been enough to create success stories out of failed Shark Tank campaigns. Your subconscious creates reality. If you allow even the faintest sense of failure to creep into your mind, your subconscious will pick it up and begin to create a reality around you that reflects it. Don't do it! Think positively and focus on your next step to achieving your goal. Take a look at Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich" for more on this concept.
2) Begin the search for your next seed. You've probably been so busy nurturing your one plant for so long that you haven't had time to step back and take a breather. Stop and smell the OTHER roses. You've done what you could at this point. While you'll always need to keep a close eye on all of your plants, they reach a point where they are basically self-sufficient. While you're waiting for it to bear fruit, you have time to begin a new journey. Step away for a bit and open your eyes to other opportunities. The time away will give you a chance to reflect on your journey and you might pick up on something that you had previously missed.
3) Keep Learning! Don't let this lull in activity deter you from expanding your knowledge on a topic. If you feel that you've done all you possibly can at this point to set up your future self, then pick up a book that you've yet to read or reread a classic. Few of us ever become experts in our field and our mind can only handle so much information at a time. You will surely learn something new or, at a minimum, gain a new perspective on an idea. This can help you circle back on your goal at hand and, if not improve on it, at least provide you with a point of view that you may not have previously been aware of.
4) Step away and relax. Take the family to the amusement park, visit an old friend, take your son fishing . . . do something - ANYTHING - that allows you to free your mind for a while. Sometimes we let our obsession with achievement take over and tunnel vision to rule our day to day lives. If you know you've done all you can do and all that is left is the waiting game, then why worry about it? If you've put in the proper effort, then why question what you've done? The stress will be only harmful. Going off the grid for a weekend, a week, or a month, will do wonders for your creativity and productivity and you'll return with a renewed sense of vigor. It's hard to pull away, but it is well worth it.
All in all, don't let the waiting be the endgame. Use that time as an opportunity to expand yourself as a person. Whether awaiting the outcome of a mortgage approval process for your vacation home, the SBA to analyze your business plan and assess whether to give you a loan, your application to Shark Tank to be reviewed, or your stock portfolio to appreciate, there are better ways to spend your time than mulling over what is already in the past.