Letter No 75 - Worth the wait?

All good things take time.
'Sabar ka fal Meetha Hota hai'. It’ll be worth the wait.

We’ve all heard this from our parents, grandparents and friends.

It’s a beautiful thing when someone shows belief and trust in the waiting period for something. There is a sweetness in it.


How does one know if something is worth the wait or not?

And how do you survive during the waiting period?

First, let’s look at some examples of when waiting happens:
  • Waiting for the movie tickets in the queue
  • Waiting for concert tickets to open up so you can buy VIP passes
  • Waiting for your "always late friend" to finally turn up at the cafe
  • Waiting for your hair to dry up
  • Waiting for sale on online shopping platforms

And many more. But the waiting period for these is known beforehand, and the outcome also is almost certain.

You know there are X number of people before you in the queue and once you reach your spot you’ll get the ticket.
You know the concert tickets will go live on a certain day, date and time and X number of VIP tickets are available.
You know your friend is usually X minutes late and when they come you are going to let them have it!
You know your hair will take X hours to dry completely and then you can head out in the wind.
You know the sale will go LIVE on a particular day and you’ll be ready with your wish list.

But what about events and situations that are a little uncertain and may affect your life deeply?
You don’t know what your exam results are going to be.
You don’t know the relationship you’re in, how is it going to turn out?
You don’t know the business decisions you’ve taken and invested a lot of money in - what will be the outcome?
You don’t know the stocks you’ve invested in, how is the market going to react?

These are unknown but crucial. They create chaos in our minds. There can be multiple probabilities and each one potentially take your life in a different direction. How do you control and plan each direction? How do you know which one to be best prepared for?
It’s tough.
It’s exhausting.
It's almost impossible.

The truth is, a waiting period exists in many situations in our life - certain or uncertain.

In one of my newsletters I mentioned that life is much better when we function from a place of "faith" and not "fear".

What we do with this waiting period is the question. It is upon us to define what we allow to happen during this period. One way is to stress out and wait till the situation happens and then spend another deal of time working around the outcome of the situation. The other way is to not let your thoughts dominate the constant questioning of the possible outcomes and just patiently wait for the situation to happen.

I know that you already know that I’m going to suggest the second way. And I know it sounds simple and motivational but following it is tough.

So, let’s decide how to do this:
Imagine you have an important event/situation coming up - the outcome of which sort of decides or directs your path (personal or professional).
Most likely you must have thought of it while reading this.

Now write the situation down on a piece of paper - I suggest paper because the good old pen and paper always work. Touching a pen and a piece of paper stimulates our nervous system in some way. This may not be a well-researched scientific fact but I know it happens.
Now ask yourself some more questions and write down the answers.
"What are the possible outcomes?" (list them down)
"How much is the min and max waiting period?"
"What will affect the waiting period - to reduce it or to increase it?"
"How comfortable am I feeling about waiting?"
"What are some limiting beliefs I am holding on to, that are making this situation difficult for me to wait for?"
"How will I bounce back, if even after waiting, the outcome is not like the one I hoped for?"
"Who can I talk to who will help bring in a fresh perspective to this wait?"

These questions will not give you direct answers to your situation. But asking them and writing the answers down will do something nice for you. I always believe that the solution to anything is the ability to "think clearly". To me, thinking clearly goes hand in hand with writing thoughts down.

And next time, when a situation like this arises, how can you be better prepared to handle the waiting period?

The thing is, waiting periods will always exist. And when the wait ends, our brain doesn’t stop and find peace. Then, there is a new waiting, for something else! And so it goes on and on. Might as well find ways to enjoy the wait.

Many things are worth the wait. But you have limited 'waiting currency". The question is "is this something/someone you want to spend your waiting currency on?"
Or even better, "How can you learn to enjoy the wait, so that even if the outcome is not what you wished for, the pain is much less than the joy you got during the wait?"