How to Move Forward While You Wait
Waiting is a mature concept. Children and childish minds cannot fathom it and they become restless. It takes discernment and experience to understand that there will always be situations which necessitate waiting:
- weeks for broken bones to mend;
- weeks for the closing on a property sale;
- months for seedling to become full ears of corn;.
- months for the birth of a baby;
- years for investments to yield results.
No fussing, worrying, crying or childish temper tantrums can help when you simply have to wait.
What Makes Moving Forward Possible?
Moving forward begins in the mind. In an episode of Seinfeld, Kramer dreams of pursuing an acting opportunity in Hollywood. His friend George has doubts about Kramer’s dream coming true. When George dares Kramer about moving forward with his plans, the would-be actor points to his head and responds, “Up here, I’m already gone.”
Thinking ahead is the precursor to moving ahead. Even while you wait, there are some very positive attitudes and principles which help you move ahead.
- Waiting provides time to reflect.
- Waiting provides time to plan the next move.
- Waiting provides time to create what’s missing.
- Waiting provides time to learn and grow.
- Waiting provides time to reset.
(1) Time to Reflect
The best time to reflect is while you’re waiting. Twenty years after the incident, the opportunities would have expired and reflection may not be helpful then. Withdraw from the worry and frustration associated with waiting. Assess where you are and view the path by which you traveled.
- How is this waiting episode advancing (or not advancing) your long-term goals?
- What skills or attitudes help (or do not help) you?
- Where or from whom are you receiving (or not receiving) the support you need?
- What satisfies you the most (or not at all) while you’re waiting?
After reflection, you should have a better evaluation of your ability to move forward in whatever direction you choose. You will also become a little more accustomed to waiting when it rolls around again.
(2) Time to Plan
Whatever you’re waiting for, moving forward is inevitable after the wait. Will you start planning then, or is it better to prepare while you’re waiting?
- Anticipate the end of the wait—for example, arrange transportation to and from the new job you are expecting.
- Estimate the cost of adjusting—socially, financially, emotionally. Will it help to make changes in free time activities, in spending, in relationships? When will you implement those changes? Can you begin them while you wait?
- Discard all hindrances—get rid of old beliefs and old behaviors which could be obstacles to moving forward. Make literal or mental space for the new results you are expecting.
- Assume the posture you hope to carry when the wait is over—for example, begin to talk with other property owners if the new move includes a new home in a new neighborhood.
(3) Time to Create
Children become bored while they wait to get to their destination. They need continual assurance. Mature minds operate differently. Instead of “Are we there yet?” they ask “What can we do between here and there?”
- Journal the wait and create a reference guide to encourage yourself or to share with someone.
- Join or start a friendship group of three or more to share the ups and downs of your experiences—a prayer partner or prayer group for the spiritually minded.
- Express your feelings in a poem or song; or find and make a list of poems and songs already written which express thoughts similar to yours. Share with others.
By the end of the wait, you will gain experience as a of comforter or motivator, and your capability for the role improves.
(4) Time to Learn and Grow
The father asked his four year old daughter to sit still in the waiting room while he was having his dental work done. “It’ll just be a few minutes,” the father said.
About five minutes passed before the little girl walked up to the receptionist and asked, “How many hours are there in a few minutes?”
The question was a positive sign of interest in the world of a four year old.
Rather than sit and worry over how long you wait, get curious and act on acquiring the skills and tools you need to add to your life's experience.
- Stay awake and alert; explore what's happening around you.
- Ask questions, not in a whining tone, but with an eager attitude.
- Reach out to other people who are willing to share their experiences.
- Admit your lack of information, if necessary, so you could gain new knowledge.
Character skills like patience, bravery, confidence and composure are developed during periods of waiting. This is a good time for childish minds to discover the concepts of individuality and responsibility when it seems that moving forward is solely your responsibility.
(5) Time to Reset
How Will You Move Forward?
Which of the following will benefit you most the next time you have to wait?
By now you realize that waiting takes brain energy. It can be exhausting and nerve racking, unless you adopt a healthy perspective. Why not take some time to renew and reset your outlook toward waiting in the future?
- Do you have a working, spiritual connection (with God) to help you maintain inner peace during future delays?
- What lessons have you learned during the last episode which you will practice, moving forward?
- What attitude adjustments will make waiting more profitable the next time around?
- Have you come to terms with the fact that waiting has personal benefits?
The waiting period is wasted for those who endure it without measuring some character growth. It is profitable for those who come through it with new knowledge, improved skills, and an appreciation for its personal benefits. Don’t waste time. Grow while you wait!
© 2013 Dora Weithers