I have realized over the years that ingrained in my mind (along with many other things) is an expectation that results follow closely behind actions. My life experience in this regard has shifted (and still is shifting) from disappointment to acceptance and wonder.
Disappointment represents a childish perspective (one that can be useful in many situations) – a basic response to expectation. I wanted something, I did what is expected of me and what should have led to the desired results – and they never arrived. Something must be broken with the world! The end-result is frustration, suffering, an injured ego and reduced motivation to act – in a world you just can’t trust.
Acceptance and wonder represents a lighter, inquisitive and non-assuming perspective – something that needs to be attained, practiced, practiced and practiced again with patience and openness. I wanted something – though in truth I’m not quite sure why. I did what I feel that needs to be done (maybe that includes some things that are expected of me) and that’s that. I am no longer sitting and waiting too see the results. Sometimes they may appear, other time they don’t – ahhh… but there is a third option.
Maybe things take much longer then I expect and and want them to?
I remember reading in a book called “The 5th Discipline” about using a faucet to control the temperature of water. We assume that in moving the faucet handle to one side that the water should get warmer or colder – preferable within a second or two. But what happens when it takes longer then that – we get annoyed and edgy – we keep moving the handle back and forth rapidly cursing under our breath and hoping that we strike a balance with this uncooperative creature. Actually we need to slow down, give the water temperature time to balance and only then make additional changes.
Can it actually be that in life most effects take much longer to appear then we expect? Can it be that this is even more so in business – that we like to think of as fast and controlled? Can it be than a mis-understanding of the role that time plays on our actions that we mess things up trying to compensate for things that have not yet matured?
I am constantly learning this lesson over and over and over and over. I have come to believe that my actions thrive in a world in which time is a major player (and I might talk about the other players later). This, for me, is actually a relief since it makes talking “results” seem obsolete. I cannot tie my actions to results – though I can firmly say that there is a connection – it is simply beyond me.