Sitting here in a hospital room killing time writing this newsletter while waiting, waiting patiently for news from the doctor to tell me everything has gone well, my daughter is comfortable and that the operation has been a success. This is the sort of waiting that we cannot control, where we have little choice but to sit still and be patient, no stress, anxiety or fussing on my part would speed up the situation.
In business and personal life how often do we wait on others to do something, say something or give us the all clear to act. Therein lies the crux of this newsletter, everyone of us is guilty from time to time of abdicating ownership of our situations and waiting for somebody else to take the lead or give us permission to move forward.
I’m sure you are familiar with the phrase ‘ask for forgiveness rather than wait for permission’ – a great phrase, one that I have ignored far too often in my adult life. As a youth I did whatever I wanted when I wanted, never asked for permission (ever) and took the consequences on a regular basis because I broke many rules. By contrast my best mate who played all the same games and got up to the same antics as me seemed to get away with everything, which felt very unfair at the time. The difference was that he had taken the time to learn the rules first before bending them to suit his desire.
There are times I believe nowadays when I have spent too long trying to learn the rules first and as a consequence I have stifled my natural risk taking DNA. You could put that down to age and responsibility, but I know that is just a convenient excuse – the vavavoom only comes from going for it, with both barrels full speed ahead.
What then are you waiting on, what are you holding back from doing and what has to be in place before you will act? A speaking colleague of mine would describe a very tragic illness suffered by many men and women alike called BTN – Better Than Nothing. Staying with a partner because they were BTN. What exactly are these individuals waiting for before they choose to get on with their lives?
My late mother-in-law has often been quoted in our house from a time when my wife visited the UK while we were living in Australia and my mother-in-law was at that time in a very bad way from cancer. My wife made the suggestion that we could all return from OZ to be with her â€“ this was met with a forthright response ‘that means I’ve got to hurry up and die so you can get on with your life! NO!’
Whether it’s changing your approach, trying a new way of working or considering a new direction – what are you waiting on happening before you fully embrace taking action, that ‘newness’ or just permission to live? My daughter is now lying on her bed next to me, chirpy and a little slurry, the surgery appears to have been a success, but we will have to see how the recovery goes afterwards. There are many things in life that are outside of your control, however more often than not your decision to take action or not is very much in your control, stop waiting for someone else to take the initiative, it’s your life, your career – get on with it