Have you ever thought about how much of your life you spend waiting?
Waiting when you’re young…to get older. Waiting to graduate, get a job, save up enough money, fall in love…
Do you remember your last trip to the doctor where you were trapped in a Waiting ROOM. You wait –on average– half an hour to see a doctor, which you know in real time is FOREVER.
What is all this waiting about?
One of my favorite books is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. A young shepherd from Spain has a dream where he’s told to seek his fortune at the pyramids in Egypt. He sells the only thing he owns, his flock of sheep, and sails to Morocco. He arrives ready for adventure… but a thief steals all of his money!
The same morning the shepherd arrives, a crystal merchant in Morocco wakes feeling anxious. His shop is on a desolate street at the top of a steep hill and has attracted few customers. The merchant has always dreamed of traveling to other countries, but never has because he is afraid he’ll have nothing left to dream about.
Just as the shopkeeper opens his business, the young shepherd comes to the crystal shop. All the crystal is dull and dirty, and the display shelves are dusty. He cheerfully says “Sir, I will clean all of this crystal overnight in exchange for money to get to Egypt.” The merchant replies “It will take you a year to earn that much because I rarely have customers.” The shepherd decides to take the job anyway.
Fairly soon the shepherd feels annoyed with his new job. The crystal merchant is grouchy, the work is tedious and he’s tired of waiting for his journey to continue.
He has an idea to increase business. “Let me build a display case outside to attract more customers!” The shop owner is afraid to agree. “People will bump into it and break my crystal.” “No, I will make it very sturdy.” The merchant relents. The display case immediately brings more shoppers.
Climbing the hill makes people thirsty. There’s no place to enjoy a cool drink. What’s his name says “Let’s serve lemonade in the crystal glasses!” Business booms! One year later, both men are rich.
The young man and his boss illustrate that all the waiting is about finding your way to success. Our choices either keep us from or move us toward our goals in life. Fear kept the shop owner from developing his business to live his dream of traveling. The young man chose to act despite his fear.
Why do some of us choose to act on our dreams and others remain trapped in the waiting rooms of life?
Many of us have failed to act on our dreams. We forget that our waiting time, if used wisely, brings experience that catapults us forward to reach our goals.
Abraham Lincoln said “Things may come to those who wait, but only things left by other people”
Life happens daily. Do something now! Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dreams and take risks.
Life is happening now.