Jamaicans have a saying “wat a fi yu, cyaan be un fi yu.” It is a suggestion and affirmation that the script is already written. This isn’t fatalism but a call for us to be patient while we wait on “IT”. Some things come easy. But others take time and all we can do is simply WAIT it out. However, this WAIT is not a passive sitting, wishing that your desires will soon drop into your lap.
Many of us are preoccupied with being successful – landing our dream job and earning the kind of salary that will afford us the quality of life that we have been conditioned to associate with success; that is, the car, the trips to the spa, being able to visit exotic places etc. However, if you, like me, were not born with the proverbial gold spoon in your mouth, you would have by now realised that the journey there is not as smooth as we would like. DREAMING is fine but getting there takes WORK. You have to be able to take the steps necessary to get THERE.
Between DREAM and ACHIEVEMENT is the period known as the MEANTIME. That is the period that usually gives us the most heartache. We become despondent as we come upon stumbling blocks or when one step toward achievement proves difficult or an utter failure. We can either choose to carry the dream to full term, despite complications,let the dream die in the womb or abort. Either way, it is all up to the choices that we make. One of the biggest mistakes many of us make during this period of the “MEANTIME” is with the mismanagement of our expectations. YES! We have expectations that once we have dreamed it, it should happen easily.That once we have put in the work things should automatically unfold. We look for the BIG opportunities that resemble our goals/dreams.
However, between the dream/vision and the achievement, is a period of patient reflection. It is there that purpose gets formed. Businesses & Non-profits call this strategic management – that period where they retreat to look at where the organisation is, where it wants to go and how it will get there. We do not tend to do this for our own personal lives but it is required if we are to truly measure how successful we are. If we pause to reflect on our lives there are some questions that we need to ask ourselves and provide a deeply thought out response for:
1. Why do I exist (The power of your WHY will help you determine both your WHAT and your HOW. This is your purpose)?
2. What actions and steps help to fulfill my WHY?
3. Who are the people that I have around me now who are inhibiting me from really accomplishing my WHY?
4. Who are the people that I NEED to surround myself with to help me achieve my WHY?
5. Where do I begin?
Question number 5, in my experience, has been the most difficult; not because of lack of opportunities for starting somewhere. Sometimes, it is for the simple reason that we despise small beginnings. We have to keep in mind that the journey of 1000 miles begin with a simple step. If that single step is taking us in the direction of our WHY (purpose) it is worth taking that a giant leap that gets us nowhere close to purpose. Yes, I believe that the true measurement of success is whether we have lived our individual life’s assignment. In the meantime may see us having to volunteer or offer our services for free before we can land than BIG job. Or it might mean beginning at a position that is, in your eyes, lower than your qualifications suggests but affords you to get your feet in the door. That is what I mean by waiting through the MEANTIME. It is the period of taking steps towards your achievements and being PATIENT with the process.
There is no danger in beginning small. My grandmother used to say “you have to creep before you walk”. This gem should remind us that we need to pay or dues & grow into our purpose. We have to learn to bloom where we’re planted. When you flourish where you are instead of moping about where you want to be, you become ready for transplant. You may not be in your dream job right now but EXCELLENCE where you are can open open doors that will take you further than you have imagined. When I started in my job, it was paying less than my qualification & even my monthly rent. Today, I am advising policy makers. I am being offered jobs outside of Jamaica to do the work that I am doing now because I chose to be EXCELLENT in my little. It was in the MEANTIME of taking those small steps and doing them well, that someone took notice of me along my journey and gave me a BIG opportunity.We have to learn the value of excellence in all we do – the value of small beginnings and how we use our meantime. BE STRATEGIC – patient and reflective.
While you WAIT (serving others and going about life) don’t be distracted by worry and frustration with the process. The script is already written. Nobody can rob you of what is meant to be yours. Aint that an assurance? Take heart in the proverb today: “wat a fi yu, cyaan be un fi yu.”