Image from unsplash.com
Learning how to wait is a really essential skill to have.
Not waiting to take action, but waiting to see results. I see and hear so often people talk about jobs they’ve quit, or friends that gave up a hobby, or opportunities brushed aside before anything mentionable even occurs. It’s a shame to hear about because you think you always want the best for people, but they have their own journey and maybe whatever the thing was that they quit just wasn’t meant to be a part of it. It’s hard to say.
When I look back at how my own varying interests in different things has waxed and waned over the years, I start to see patterns in my behavior and I’m just now coming to conclusions about how those patterns may be able to be altered.
I’ve grown to understand my own sensibilities when it comes to taking on new interests or hobbies and I understand that for years I let myself become too involved or too overwhelmed too quickly. I love the new thing for a few weeks or months, I see the tireless effort needed to master said thing, I gradually lose interest and eventually cease synapse fire.
I don’t think this is some personal affliction. The majority of people could most likely attest to the same fleeting fires of newfound heart-jitters, and I’d have to say that I think we’re all going about it entirely wrong.
We all just need to ease off the gas when something new enters our world. When something fresh and seemingly fantastic and interesting brings us hope and joy and a sense of the unknown becoming known. It’s then we need to resist the temptation when our pedal is so tantalizingly close to the metal.
We can take this new excitement, and we can stretch it into days, weeks, months, even years. Sometimes with the right dialed-in aptitude, the rest of our lives. These short bursts of evaporating hypnosis don’t have to remain so short.
What I’ve managed to do, or managed to realize I had been doing all along without knowing, is that I’m able to stay consistent with something new in ways small enough to handle to keep me interested for long enough to see progress.
Basically now, as opposed to the follies of the past, I become interested in a thing, I learn a little about it, I go back to my life. I return to the thing and learn a little more, maybe something new sparks a new angle in which to see new thing, I return to my life. I repeat this process without letting myself become inundated with new information or overly excited about all the tantalizing new possibilities this new thing offers to give me, and I let it just become something I come back to once or twice a week, sometimes not even that.
Giving the new pursuit some breathing room during the week can really allow you to remain excited about the prospect of learning more. You don’t burn yourself out in a month and never return to it.
It’s really just like any new relationship, or at least a new love interest.
Those initial butterflies of newly discovered love-dove feelings are a pretty exact parallel to what I’m talking about. If you don’t learn to tame those first urges to glue yourself to that person/interest for as long as possible, you’ll find your new hobby losing its luster after the honeymoon stage or your new love disappearing before you even reach that point. A flower wilting before its even had a chance to bloom.
It’s never in anyone’s best interest to play dumb games in relationships. Things like not responding to texts because you want to build the anticipation for them. Things like hanging out then purposely missing a call or keeping responses short so you seem too cool and busy so they may possibly desire you even more due to your inaccessibility. I can understand the desire to keep things fresh and flirty by playing around, but manipulating your way into someone’s heart will only turn into a sort of rusty scaffolding trying to hold the weight of a doomed relationship built on your desire to feel wanted. That feeling should come naturally, not be orchestrated by your own hand.
Nurture your desire.
Although catching feelings for a new person has its similarities to hooking a new hobby, it’s much more of a two-way street. Hobbies don’t need you to love them, they’ll be fine with or without you. That’s why it can be harder to maintain focus on them. Your new past-time isn’t going to surprise you with a text or call you at night before bed. They’re never going to reach out to you to validate their interest in you. You’re the one that has to extend yourself to them. You’re the one that has to keep your desire to develop this new skill floating, to keep that balloon from touching the ground.
Limit your time with something new and exciting. It seems contradictory, but it can take that first spark and create a small flame. Then you can add more and more kindling until your fire is a long and healthy burn. Our tendency to only want the fiery blaze leads us to dousing everything is gasoline and watching as it fireballs everything into ash in mere minutes.
Everything is always such a damn process though, isn’t it? I mean, how long did it really have to take for me to understand exactly how I best become better at things I’m actually good at? If only it were so easy to affix your eyes to an ultimate prize and let the outside pieces fall into place accordingly. Some people, man, I swear. They seem to somersault out of the womb with a True Purpose neatly tied around their heads like a little bow. They live their lives in a tunnel leading straight to their own vision of their lives and they seem innately able to understand what they’re doing.
God bless ’em.