“Patience is a virtue.”

If my mom has spoken these words to me once, she has spoken them a thousand times.  For as long as I can remember, I have always been honest with my thoughts and actions.  I don’t plan on re-routing the ship anytime soon, so I will admit – I’m stubborn and impatient.  These traits of mine don’t stem from the fact that I want to be better than the person next to me, rather from the idea that I want to see results.

hourglassI’m a results driven person.  Did I set a new PR (personal record) in my last race?  Did I win a new customer?  Did I complete the task quicker and more efficiently than everyone else?  At the end of the day, did I accomplish what I set out to do?  In all seriousness, I had a phone conversation earlier this week with my Sales Manager at which point in time he said, “I don’t believe that anyone wakes up and says, ‘I want to do a bad job today.'”  For me, I want to perform well, do a damn good job and know that I completed everything I wanted to do today.

As we move forward in our daily lives, we are surrounded by the instant gratification of having everything we ‘need’ at our fingertips.  What’s the best restaurant to eat at for a family of 4 in Houston, TX?  Hell, I have no idea, but if I pull out my phone I can Yelp it and find out in about 15 seconds.  How do I make my thoughts and emotions grab someone’s attention?  Yelling in my home doesn’t do much, but if I post it on Facebook and Twitter I’m sure to get some sort of response in at least a few minutes.  If not, then my stubbornness and impatience will cause me to post something again until someone does react.

In the Workplace:

As I have begun a new career in sales, I have had to teach myself the importance of best processes and procedures to follow for given situations.  For example, if I can’t get a new lead to return my phone calls, I can’t let my stubborn and impatient mentality creep in and cause me to call that person every hour on the hour for the next 4 days, or else I’m sure to never speak with them.  Because of my personality, I had to learn to give people time to react without being overly proactive.

In my Physical Activities:

After I completed my first half marathon in 2010, I went to the gym the next day and ran 10 miles on the treadmill.  I know, crazy and I definitely paid the price.  Because I ‘couldn’t go a day without running’, I gave myself shin splints.  The shin splints were so bad to the point that I didn’t put on a pair of running shoes for an entire month.  I knew that I wanted to run a second half marathon at Notre Dame a month after the first, and I was in doubts whether or not I would physically be able.  It absolutely killed me not running, but the pain was unbearable.  Believe it or not, I learned a valuable lesson.  This is because I ended up running the second race and actually improved my time by six minutes because I allowed by body to rest and recover as needed.

Take Aways:

When I reflect on the instances in which I put stubbornness and impatience on the back burner, I realize that I did eventually receive the results I was striving for, without the daily stresses of waiting for instantaneous feedback.  The lesson to be learned is that you can’t force ANYTHING in life.

Life will occur as it wants and pleases.  You can’t make it move any faster and you can’t slow it down.  All you can do is roll with it, putting yourself in a position to be successful for when what you have worked hard to receive, finally comes to fruition. -Me”

When becoming so encumbered with one situation or instance, you will undoubtedly miss out on other opportunities.  Opportunities that could lead to a plethora of more opportunities.  The important component is to understand that without processes in place, it becomes difficult to put aside the ‘get it now’ mentality and let things flow naturally.

In my own life I try to be someone who practices what he preaches.  This is why I am currently reading Strategic Selling to better understand sales techniques so that I am not forcing my way to sales success – learning to understand the process behind sales strategy that often requires openness and patience.

Physically, I am learning to listen to my body.  My body has taken a beating this year with running two marathons and training since January.  Now it is time to recover (after one last half marathon in Indianapolis).  If I wake up in the morning and my body isn’t feeling the workout I have planned, then I will make the needed changes so that I still accomplish something that is more conducive to my well-being.

I actually had a weekly blog reader write in and tell me how she is struggling with listening to her body tell her to stop.  This goes back to the fact that we can’t continue put a square peg in a round hole.  We need to listen and take into consideration what we see, what we hear and what we feel.  If we don’t then we are doomed for feelings of frustration and failure.  This is hard – especially when you mind, and even heart, are so dead set on a specific goal.

Yesterday I read a quote in Strategic Selling that speaks to this reader’s issues, but on professional level.  The quote reads:

“One bad tendency is to focus exclusively on the individual sale and to ignore the account.”

The sale is the immediate pain our body feels, and the account is our lifetime longevity to be able to run.  Ignore the pain now, suffer the consequences later, yet earlier in life.  Nothing in life carries enough importance that you should cause yourself more pain and heartache if only for short term success.  Think smart, react smarter and live better.

Learn to slow down.  Learn to listen to what naturally seems unnatural.  Learn to appreciate the journey.  The journey will play take you where it’s supposed to… if you let it!

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