Impatience Destroys Goal Achievement

Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
you ruin what was almost ripe.
Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #64

Impatience, Anxiety, Fear, and other negative emotions are powerful levers that often drive us to “push for closure” on a problem before a viable solution is realistic — this forcing of the issue then typically results in a whole host of negative consequences: we fall short of our goals, perhaps make the problem worse than what it already was, and sadly rob ourselves of a chance to live the best life possible. Let’s consider some examples:

  1. You want to get rich but instead of seeking the advice of trusted counselors and investing your money wisely, you decide to speculate on some ‘hot stocks’ a buddy told you about, dumping more than 50% of your savings into the play — only to see the stock flame out and take your nest egg with it.
  2. You want to get married and have kids, but rather than take the time to get to know yourself first, or date a variety of people to learn what you like/don’t like, you rush into a relationship with someone you met online (“because he’s just so dreamy”), get married in a few months, and get pregnant shortly thereafter — only to learn that you’re actually not that compatible, you fight all the time, and you can’t wait to file for divorce.
  3. A bunch of your friends at work invite you to join them for a mud race next month – you’re not in shape now but since one of your goals is to take better care of yourself, you agree to join them – only you don’t take the time to do train for the event and instead just decide to wing it (“after all, how hard can it be?”). You end up tearing your ACL while jumping down from one of the high walls and get laid up for 6 months, during which you balloon into a fat blob which spirals you further into depression.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’ve take the time to understand your goals in life AND you’ve build solid plans for achieving them, then it’s really just a matter of executing on those plans and letting life unfold in due course.

Consistent Action + Time = Results.

You just need trust in the process, be patient, and know with confidence that things WILL go your way when the seeds you planted are ripe for harvesting.

I always love it when the wisdom of great teachers matches up – such is the case here. You’ve seen the opening quote from Lao Tzu. You know the famous line from Ben Franklin (“Haste Makes Waste“). You can read the following meme about John Wooden. 

Now consider what King Solomon had to say on the topic as well…

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Prov 19:2)

The plans of the diligent lead to profit, as surely as haste leads to poverty. (Prov 21:5)

Prepare yourself for success. Take action. Reach your goals. Rinse and repeat again and again and before you know it you’ll be living your best life right now.

For more on the subject of planning consider these posts:

The Power of Planning

Use Your Time Wisely

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

And if you’re doing your first mud race, be sure to check out our Tough Mudder video library (over 50 vids on the topic with tips on clothes, shoes, obstacles, and more)

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