The Other Side Of Discipline: Focused Waiting

You will never see more focused waiting than dogs, sitting quietly, watching the hand that is about to feed them. Of course, to do this, they have to have been trained well.

Maybe humans need better training. It can be hard to be patient, even if we know we will end up with the “treat.” But the time goes even more slowly when we are worrying about the final outcome.

Thankfully, we do not have to sit and wait. In fact, I’ve found that the time goes much faster if we get busy. Either prepare for possible outcomes or do something entirely different – to distract ourselves.  For example:

  • Time appears to go faster in a “waiting room” when we focus on a magazines, a puzzle (e.g., Sudoku or a crossword puzzle), concentrate on something important, update a list, or share friendly conversation. In fact, we may learn something new or even make a new friend. After years of constant work and family activity, long days at horse shows with our daughter gave me practice at “being” rather than “sitting” – and I made a lot of new friends, equine and otherwise.
  • While we wait for someone else to arrive or send us something, we can physically clean up or take a brisk walk. Physical activity lowers our stress and makes the wait more bearable. Clearing our minds, or thinking through next steps, can help us prepare for the activity ahead.
  • Sometimes, we have to wait for possible bad news. In those dark times, prayer can bring peace – and the strength to face whatever comes. Our faith reinforces that we do not wait alone. God waits with us.
  • When experiencing the fear that life will not proceed as we had hoped, sharing our disappointment with others can lessen our burden. The time is richer when a friend waits with us.

The next time we find ourselves waiting, let’s promise ourselves – and each other - that we will “be,” or move, or pray, or talk. We may find that the wait is a blessing in disguise.

Until we meet again,

The Entrepreneur’s Friend

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The Entrepreneur’s Friend® is a registered trademark of Wheaton Consulting Group LLC.   Photo credits: All photos were taken by Cynthia Wheaton and owned by Wheaton Consulting Group LLC except as noted. Coffee cup art by Jim Wheaton.   Author support: Fellow authors from The Wrinklings and Light of Carolina Christian Writers Group.