Life. It’s not fast food.

What’s that saying, “All good things come to those who wait”? With that sentiment then, do bad things come to those who don’t wait? I think we collectively know that consciously waiting for something does not play a role in whether it turns out good or bad. However, I think that something can improve over time. Like a fine wine (though I don’t drink wine. Ha!). Sometimes, regardless of talent and skill, you just need time to acquire other necessities key to developing as a person, a leader, a friend. It is not something that can be rushed.

I remember the first day I met my Sunny. Can you believe, I almost went home with a different dog because in the first 5 minutes of meeting her, Sunny was more interested in chewing on the edge of my jeans than playing with me? And I had the nerve to say that I just didn’t feel a connection…with a random dog. How can there be a connection in 5 minutes of meeting a random puppy? It’s like wanting a connection with a random person off the street. Life just doesn’t work that way. A bond takes time. But, it also takes a lot of effort and care. Here we are 14 years later and I cannot imagine my life without her. I cannot imagine my life with a black toy Poodle vs a blonde Lhasa Apso.

The same definitely goes for career. In a culture now where startups are the norm and everyone is a “VP of some random words that sound fun together” by the age of 25, it’s pretty unnerving. I mean, I don’t want to follow a 25 year old CEO. I just don’t. Because as much as I had my head on straight at 25, I was confident and brave with no sense of consequence to hold me back, I did not have the necessary skills to run a diverse team. I see someone in my office with the title of Director only because he’s ambitious and talks the talk but he has no sense of time management, no people skills, is oblivious to the big picture of the company and really only focused on himself. Which is fine, but I don’t want to be on his team. And then he wonders why people are put off by him. It’s because learning how to cultivate and work well on a diverse team takes time, patience, understanding. A skill set he bypassed because his type A personality proved he had the technical skills to fast track it in his field. But the soft skills are just as important if not more. Who cares that you understand the sales software if you can’t clearly train someone else, if you can’t budget your time to focus on the project, if you cannot get the support of a team? It all takes time. And in that time, we have to experience failure in order to improve and grow as a person.

Everything good and worth anything takes time. And because it takes time, we shouldn’t discard it the moment we think it no longer serves a purpose. I’m not advocating that we become hoarders. I’m saying that maybe we shouldn’t give up. If you have been friends with someone for years but haven’t spoken with them in a while, it doesn’t mean you are no longer friends and therefore need to erase this person from your life. If you have a job that you want more out of, research ways of getting more out of it like taking management classes, learning more about the field, finding a mentor, etc. It doesn’t mean you need to quit your job and start collecting unemployment.

I mean, even a nutritious meal takes time. While I love fast food, it’s definitely not as nutritious and filling as a meal that was prepared with fresh ingredients and served to me the moment is was perfectly cooked. Life shouldn’t be like fast food. We shouldn’t expect the best outcome in an instant and we shouldn’t toss it just because it wasn’t what we were hoping. It all takes time.

I am a product of the instant gratification mindset for sure. And that is a shame because that means there is a struggle with my inner brat every day when something doesn’t go my way. Time is cruel. It doesn’t matter how much you want it, it is still going to take time. It doesn’t matter that I have a masters and therefore know more about a subject than you. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we keep putting in the effort to learn and grow, regardless of the situation, and acknowledge that time is really running the show. It’s not us. We just work at cultivating a better life.

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