Patience and the pace of life are heading in opposite directions. Patience is a virtue, but it doesn’t get much of an opportunity for practice. The only thing that’s constant is change, and that’s accelerating. Wisdom advises us to slow down. Modern pressures implore us to speed up. I’m working both ends, marveling as they drift apart, and wondering if my arms will be long enough to keep it all together. Only slowing down or only speeding up are extremes, and extremes miss advantages.
I’m a bit of an endurance guy. Look at my books and my projects. They involve multi-year efforts or endeavours that require persistence more than speed. The title of my first book, Just Keep Pedaling, is as much about bicycling across America as it is about my personal philosophy. Lots of people walk, hike, bike, or ski faster than me – for the first few miles. I don’t speed up, usually, but I am evidently reasonably good at finding my pace and then maintaining it for a long time.
I am also known for adapting to change. I’m not a gadget freak, but I try to keep aware of new technologies, scientific progress, and philosophical insights. Maybe that comes from helping engineer airplanes, rockets, and satellites that hadn’t flown before. (Though few of the designs rarely launched. Sigh.) I judge ideas on criteria of science, math, finance, and a bit of sociology. It is why I was an early adopter of digital photography, 3-D printing, web sites, social media, blogging, self-publishing; and look forward to applications of graphene, quantum entanglement, and machine consciousness – based on particular assumptions.
Within the last two years my finances have begun to recover. Clients have arrived just often enough that projects, social media campaigns, strategic business decisions, and artists asking for production assistance have helped me pay my bills, keep my house, and begin to pay down my debt.
Entrepreneurs are known for hustling, always active, using every minute of the day, hopefully reaching a time when they can take time, but having very little free time at the start. I’ve been in that mode for over three years, ever since my Triple Whammy. Seven day work weeks have a tendency to make the calendar spread into a long line of days rather than blocks of weeks and months.
One client’s major project is probably coming to a close this fall. Working yourself out of a job is a sign of success in many industries. Success or no, it means my bills will be in need of another major project soon. (Though, windfalls happen, eh?) My client was concerned because they are very aware of my financial situation. I surprised them and me by not being as worried.
Within the last few months I’ve witnessed a trend. Both within my business, and within my friends’ businesses, there is a resurgence of activity. Projects are being proposed, and the conversations are more pragmatic than philosophical. People want to get things done and they’re tired of waiting. For the last few years, a lot of plans were dammed up waiting for better weather. A confident stock market, a possibly improving real estate market (depending on your location, location, location), an improving employment market all mean people are more secure and willing to embark on new ventures. Money is beginning to flow, through here on the island it is only an energetic trickle.
I’ve also noticed that many of the contacts being made aren’t new. They are the contacts that were made over the last few years when people met and planned and postponed for lack of funds, but had developed relationships and learned each others’ strengths. I can readily think of four projects beginning to stir that have hinted I may be called to help that have all lain dormant for too long. I don’t know if they will find the funds and the will to commit to their projects and my assistance, but the odds improve with every person I’ve talked with, listened to, and kept in confidence.
Considering how many people I know that have been hustling for the last few years, it is encouraging to realize that the adaptability they’ve displayed has gotten them through tough times, and the patience they’ve had for projects may now begin to pay, interest accumulated. Even better is the possibility that the adaptability and patience we’ve displayed will pay in a better life and a better world.