Why Good Things Come to Those Who Wait is Terrible Advice!

April 9, 2024

Admittedly, I’m not the most patient person.

I’m the person who beep-beeps the horn if the light turns green and you’re clearly on your phone in the car in front of me.

I don’t blare the horn obnoxiously, but I do tap with enough effort that you’ll awake from your phone-induced stupor.

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The light is green. Go!

I’m also the person who says, “Representative!” into the robotic automated phone options so I can get a real human being on the line.

OK, OK… you got me. My “say” is more of a “yell,” particularly if I’ve already listened to the 9 buttons of options I have at my disposal, none of which serves my needs.

Patience is a virtue, but who has time for that?

So maybe I’m not the best person to write about patience.

Or maybe that makes me the best person to write about patience.

Or maybe you’re getting impatient waiting for me to get to the point of this blog about patience. Hurry up, will ya, lady?

My point is this:

Good things don’t typically come to those who wait.

Wait why good things come to those who wait is terrible advice!

Notice I added the word “typically” in there. They might, if you’re lucky. If the opportunity and the stars and the prancing unicorns all align with your patient time frame. It does happen, occasionally.

Most are left waiting, now impatiently, for those good things they were promised if only they had waited long enough.

Because that’s not how it works.

Good things come to those who make a plan to get those good things while others wait.

Often that plan will involve some level of patience.

But you’re not waiting for things to happen. You’re making them happen through a series of strategic steps with calculated results, restarts and retries, mistakes and missteps, do-overs and try-agains, hard work and lessons learned.

There’s little action if you don’t take action. Sure, things might come your way, but you could spend an awful lot of time waiting for them.

Too much time when we look back upon it.

I was ill-advised, at numerous points throughout my career, to be more patient. At one such stop, my patience held out for about 8 years. When I finally questioned the results of my patience, one higher-up counseled that perhaps I had “waited a bit too long” to make a move that would elevate my career.

I had somehow missed that window of opportunity.

This is what I call the avocado effect. You’re not ripe enough for way too long and then minutes later, you’re overripe and inedible.

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Don’t become an overripe and inedible avocado.

What’s that opportunity you’ve been patiently waiting for?

What’s that thing you’ve been wanting – and waiting – to do?

When will the time be right? Whose permission are you waiting for? How about your own?

Want to go back to school, launch a business, publish a book, travel somewhere new, find love, find meaning, find peace?

Those good things aren’t going to just come to you because you’ve waited for them. They’ll likely seem further away than ever.

Good things come to those who figure out what they want most and take the steps to get there.

So get going. Stop waiting.

Your good things await but, like you, they might get tired of waiting. Before you know it, some other prancing unicorn might snatch them up while you look on, green with envy.

That’s just the reflection of the green light you haven’t noticed in front of you. It’s your wake-up call.

Beep-beep. Go!

Valerie gordon your story matters web why good things come to those who wait is terrible advice!

Valerie Gordon is a longtime storyteller, a former Emmy-winning TV producer, and a career and communications strategist. The founder of The Storytelling Strategist, she speaks at conferences and works with corporations to grow future talent and build strong, equitable teams through the power of story.



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