This is one of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning over and over while on my journey. Patience not as in passively waiting for all of your gifts to arrive on Christmas morning, but instead spending the time needed on every single task, no matter how simple it may be and no matter how long it takes. This, combined with perseverance, consistent work and constant reflection on your efforts – that’s what patience is all about.
This study took me 17 days to do. It didn’t look anything like the final painting on the first day, or on the second, the fifth or even the 10th. It was the longest time I’ve spent on a single painting. It was an exercise in doing the right thing and doing what’s necessary day after day, even when what you’re trying to do looks nothing like what’s in front of you. If you do the correct thing for a long enough time, piece by piece the whole will emerge, no matter what you’re doing.
Anyone can do anything if given enough time. Yes it might be more difficult at a certain age or at a certain period of your life, yes you might not have a single reason to believe in yourself because of all the things you’ve done in the past . But even if you doubt everything you do, if you just do the right thing over and over you will get the result you’re after, regardless of what you think is possible. If you’re after acquiring a skill – your brain restructures with patterned repetition, all it takes is right practise and consistency. If you’re after reshaping your body – your body reshapes with patterned repetition, right practise and consistency. I don’t know if I can go so far as to call it a law of nature, but it certainly seems like one. Our biology responds to patience and effort.
There is a period of gestation for everything, you don’t throw a seed in the ground and something just shoots out… unless you’re using magic beans. There is always a time of development, of growth – and growth always takes time. With modern technology we have the illusion of instantaneous results because we are accustomed to clicking buttons and receiving things, to notifications popping up everywhere alerting us of things that have just happened, but even those applications and technologies are products of growth, it’s just that we are not privy to the process of growth, we are only seeing the end result. Our economy thrives on selling images, on selling dreams, on selling easy and instant fixes, that’s why we never see struggle and are only handed sugar-coated false solutions. We are only after the magic beans. Struggle is ugly and difficult, inconvenient, long-lasting, uncomfortable, uncertain, all the things we don’t like to experience and avoid as much as we can, but these are all fuel for growth, do not try to escape from what is difficult, take it as a challenge and go with it all the way. Struggle is where your gifts will emerge from, comfort is the place of no progress.