Patience (Part 2) – Focus on the Small Things

patience- focus on the small things

Patience

A lot of people talk about it but when it comes to practicing it ourselves a lot of us fall short, don’t we?

Patience is a difficult thing to have when it comes to our careers. A lot of times we know we’re capable of so much more than we’re doing if only we had a chance to prove it. 

I’m sure this is a thought that young professionals have on a nearly daily basis. Unfortunately, that’s not a thought that goes away when you get more experience. 

If you’re a continuous learner like me and if you strive, each day, to get better at what you do, having patience is difficult. 

The fact is, it’s not big, monumental things that make us better. There is no magic wand to wave that will instantly make us better. 

Getting better takes time. To quote Seth Godin, “drip by drip by drip”. Each day, one small thing piles on top of a small thing from yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. 

Pretty soon, you have a month of small things you’ve learned or done or experienced. Things you’ve tried and failed. Things you’ve tried that have worked. Things that failed once, you tweaked and this time it worked. Nuggets of wisdom you’ve picked up from a book you’re reading or a Tweet someone sent out. Drip by drip. Day by day. 

Next thing you know, you have an entire quarter’s worth of small things that you’ve experienced. Then half a year. Then a full year. 

It’s incredible to think, that for some of us, tomorrow we’ll be better than today. Tomorrow we’ll learn at least one thing we didn’t know today. It’s currently early March and by the end of April, I’ll know more than I do right now. 

I’ve currently written something every day for the past 30 days as part of Seth Godin’s The Creatives Workshop. By the end of March, I will have written something for 51 straight days. 

If I hold to the content cadence I’ve created for myself, I will have written six more blog posts (including this one), four more podcasts, and five short social videos. 

In my role as the Director of Marketing, my team will have shipped 8 projects or campaigns just since the beginning of the two-week marketing “sprints” I implemented in February. I implemented these as a way to stay focused and get more accomplished since distractions and new projects have derailed our ability to ship in the past. 

I’m not trying to brag. I’m trying to prove a point that none of that will be done in one day. That it seems like a lot to accomplish, but it can be done because my team and I are focusing just on the day we’re in. We’re focused on doing what can be done today. We’ll worry about tomorrow, tomorrow. 

Time is an interesting thing. Each day is borrowed. No one knows how many more they have left. That makes it hard to be patient. But when you realize that what we do as a professional. What we do as part of our careers is all invented, you’ll realize that you have nothing but time. 

You’re right. You are capable of doing more than you are in your current role right now. Every single one of us is capable of more. Hell, we’re more capable than we even think we are. 

It doesn’t mean you have to do it all right now. It also doesn’t mean that you’ll get to a point in which you’ll know everything there is to know about everything. That will never happen.

You can always do something different. You can try something, fail, try again. 

Learn what you can, each day and enjoy the ride. You never know when it will end.


Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash