Friends and Colleagues,
As many of you know, I have a couple of truly unfavorable qualities. By unfavorable, I don't mean I hate myself for them. I simply mean I make my life more difficult because of them. Most notably is my uber-confidence, which borders on cockiness the way Tijuana borders California. But, the other quality, impatience has probably caused me far more difficulty on a personal level over the course of my 24+ years of life.
In surrounding myself with bright and intellectual individuals who talk about things like virtues and personal development, I have found myself in a number of conversations about patience. Especially amongst the 20-somethings crowd. It seems, from my informal research, that this point in our lives is either when we're waiting for something or we learn to wait-and-see. There's a difference and I'll get to that later.
As for myself, I've always been terrible about being patient because I've always been great about improving my situation. Growing up poor led me to working by the time I was nine or 10. Going to less-than-stellar public schools led me to dreaming about going to a top (public, I don't do private) university as a 6th grader. Graduating from college led me to focusing on my career instead of the books to jump start my career. These are not bad tactics, on premise, but they become an indicator of impatience when one's method of getting from Point A to Point B entails speeding through Point A like it's the Autobahn.
So there I was, a middle schooler already thinking high school, a high schooler thinking college, a college student thinking career, and a young professional thinking boardroom. And this thinking was applicable to nearly every aspect of my life up until a short while ago. Now when add this mindset with the fact that a) no one likes impatient people, b) relationships can't be rushed, and c) you won't get far in your career if you're not succeeding in the job you're in today vs. tomorrow, you have a pretty good recipe for the complete opposite of personal development and virtue.
What this led me to realize is that my impatience and insistence on speeding through life put me in more situations where I was forced to "wait" instead of just being in the moment. On the other hand, I needed to become more "wait-and-see" about life and its occurences.
So eventually things were coming to a head and I had to admit I needed to become more patient or end up alone, unemployable, or with stress-induced ulcers. From that point on, I started praying to God for patience.
Well, like Morgan Freeman (God) says in Evan Almighty, "if you prayed for patience, I wouldn't just give you patience, I'd give you an opportunity to learn patience."
That's exactly what God has done.
First, it was my decision to be patient and not move to Austin (just yet) which has ultimately led to a dramatic increase in my overall quality of life. Then it was my decision not to will myself into a relationship as I've been prone to do and let's just say the results have been both a positive and unexpected shock wave of awesomeness. And now I've decided, rather accepted, another effect of my increased patience: I'm not going to publish Notes from the Class You Missed.
Over the course of the last few months, while working on Real Role Models (http://realrolemodel.blogspot.com/), I've started thinking about how much I've truly enjoyed the process of working on a book with such an intense and earnest purpose. Ultimately, I realized that only one of these books was going to go down in history as the first book I ever published, and after months of back-and-forth I decided Real Role Models should be that book.
Yes, that means you'll have to wait until 2009 to see my name on the New York Times bestseller list (shit, there goes that uber-confidence!). But don't worry, for those of you that have been (key word) patiently waiting for Notes from the Class You Missed, I have decided to make the manuscript available for $10 (that's how much it costs to print and mail it to you directly) starting this fall.
One of the big questions this book stuff has led me to ask myself is: What's going to happen in my life once I publish?
Up until recently I was waiting impatiently to find out, but now, I'm just going to wait-and-see.
P.S. I'll be enjoying today and chilling out with a glass of lemonade and banana split (my new favorite duo) while I wait (and see, it takes some getting used to).