Question 62 of 365: Why does waiting matter?

In so much of what I write and think about, I am interested in what is instant and what I can will into being. I am so interested in creating what I can’t yet see. I want to be a part of the conversations that create change and I want to be with people who are passionate and have purpose behind their actions.

And yet, there is the waiting.

I wait because other people make me wait. I wait because I want to know what they have to say. I wait because that is the only way that listening can occur. I wait because being told no should always be an option on the table.

So, today I waited for a response. I waited to hear a judgement being handed down. And while I waited, I wracked my brain for what I could do better. I wrestled with every conceivable question that could have come up, every roadblock that someone else thinks I have. I sat nervously trying to iterate without a concrete direction. I wanted to speak, but knew that it wasn’t yet my turn.

And in the end, I wanted so badly just to be able to reach inside of someone else’s head and change their mind. I wanted to write the e-mail that told me I was doing a good job and that all of my hard work had paid off. And yet, that isn’t what makes waiting important.

I am not going to Techstars for a Day, but I will be continuing to iterate on my ideas and see if I can make it into the big show. This news wasn’t what was important either.

The waiting was the best part. It was the not knowing that provided the most freedom to have hope and hopelessness. It let me see two diametrically opposed futures: one in which everything goes exactly according to plan and I have an easy time convincing others that my ideas are valid and the other in which I have to fight for every conversation and every user. The reality is somewhere in the middle, but it is important to be in limbo sometimes and weigh both sides as equally possible.

Only waiting can let me get comfortable with ambiguity. Through waiting, I am able to doubt everything and come out on the other side. I can challenge my assumptions and figure out just why those assumptions were stupid. Flat out rejection is too harsh because you end up throwing out everything. Pure success is equally damaging. It can make almost anything seem like a good idea.

Waiting is what makes us vulnerable enough to let others make us better. And that is what I did today. I got better.

0 Comments

  1. I wait every day to see what the new question will be. I wait sometimes because if I ask now I won't get the answer I want. Sometimes I wait because I know it is better for me, like when I want another handful of chips – enough for today, wait until tomorrow. There are times when I wait just because the anticipation is more fun, like when I go shopping. I will 'shop' without buying anything and I feel just as satisfied as when I bring home that new whatever. I even waited to post this comment because I wanted to give it a little more time to digest. Very thought provoking question!

  2. I'm glad you are following along so closely. Your perspective on waiting is
    really good, and I think it is just really hard for me to be in that mindset
    enough. I think that I must be forced sometimes to wait because I am the
    kind of guy who shops for web tools on a regular basis, trying anything out
    that could possibly help out in the future. This collecting process does not
    allow for waiting in the sense we are talking about. It is only if I do the
    reflective waiting that I end up with something I can really use, so I
    literally have to force myself to do it. This part matters for sure.

    I would love it if you would start asking me questions, though. I find that
    only through good conversations am I able to figure out the ones that really
    resonate (with me and others).

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