A lot of life is spent waiting. For news. The hard work to pay off. For the chips you didn’t eat to tip the scales in the opposite direction.
In its most positive form, the one we teach our kids during the inevitable sideline moments, waiting is a rite of passage wrapped decoratively in words like patience and faith.
In its less glamorous form, waiting looks like a whole lotta nothing, especially to those of us who find ourselves entering, quitting, then re-entering “the busy pageant” where worth is assigned by the lack of time and attention, we pay to ourselves and each other. In that competitive circuit, looking out the window, re-reading a favorite book, binge-watching horrible TV is efficiently labeled as unmotivated and lazy.
But what if the highly motivated, productive people and the slovenly, wandering daydreamers share more DNA than the piano teachers of our youth led us to believe?
The infuriating nature of waiting was THE common experience that united everyone—the extroverts and introverts, the agreeable and disagreeable, the neurotic and blasé, even (stay with me here) the democrats AND republicans!
What if people in fast forward alongside their idling counterparts, joined idiosyncrasies to create a new brand of waiting? This emerging practice could be known as Effective Waiting and defined as: the harmonious balance of pause and productivity. The practice would be integrated into K-12 curriculums. And humans would receive master’s degrees in waiting from lauded universities. Then, Effective Waiting would become THE top ten trait of highly successful AND completely average people!
Until slowly, over a lot of time spent waiting, Effective Waiting would become ineffective. And a new generation of waiters would necessarily emerge and once again unite over the mind-numbing, life-sucking, you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me nature of…
“Thanks for waiting, your call is important to us. Please stay on the line for the next available representative.”