Never Wait Again

So there I was, on hold with the cable company…go figure. “All representatives are still assisting other callers” the robot chimed in-between the scratchy, overly loud hold music. Little did I know when they said that my wait would be over 15 minutes that what they meant was my wait would be roughly 42 minutes, but who’s counting? I began annoyed, but it didn’t take too long for me to catch the self-talk and quickly think of alternatives. I thought about all of the other people that are likely dealing with recording errors, blue/black screens, slow connection speeds, and a slew of other #FirstWorldProblems and that started phase one of my chilling the f out. This was in no way the end of the world.

This phone call was an #Action step to proactively meet one of my wife’s unstated but hinted at needs. The DVR wasn’t working correctly, and just did 1 second recordings that said “recording error” and wouldn’t play back. We had plenty of space and it could make space if needed. We were only recording kids shows to create background noise and distraction anyway, again not the end of the world. I figured I had a few minutes during breakfast routine, I’d make the call. I never thought I’d remember some #Zen teachings during a tech call.

It was probably the third time the robot chimed in that I realized my mindset made all the difference. I was “waiting”, like in the “Waiting Place” if you are familiar with Dr Seuss. This is “negative waiting” as Tim Ferriss describes because you are playing the victim role and big bad reality is not letting you do your will. Check out his 21 day No Complaints Experiment…I’ll start this one today with you. In any case, the switch flipped in my mind and I realized that “Life is what happens while you are waiting for your goals to happen.” All that dead space between “things” is life…you can recapture those moments and live then too…or you can keep waiting. The choice, whether you accept it or not, is yours.


What walls?

In theater, there is a concept called the 4th wall. It’s the artificial division between the the audience and the actors onstage. They are “in” the play, while the audience is “out” there in the real world. The aside is a deliberate, and sometimes surprising breaking of that artificial wall. The characters come out of character and talk directly to you in the audience, often pointing out something you might have missed. If you are a child of the 90’s Zach Morris’s “Time out” will come to mind.

In life, we build constructs that divide “us” and “them.” In small business, you sometimes make use of this artificial division and look official by having the website and the emails and perhaps a product or two, but maybe it’s just you and a partner hustling on the weekend and doing it all out of a garage or living room. The wall of “official” is like the 4th wall.

Tonight I contacted a small business that I LOVE! Field Notes Brand makes the best little portable notebooks, and their attention to materials, details, quality are all very impressive! I had an idea that I think would be great on their notebooks and I pitched it to them. Well, really, I have it to them freely because I don’t want anything in return besides consideration and if it’s a quality idea, that they do what they do best and make my idea come true with a very awesome notebook.

Will it happen? I don’t know, but it’s a lot more likely now that it’s out of my head and into the hands of the artists. Like a reverse aside I ignored their wall and offered them a free idea. This is small, but it’s a small step of courage. Asserting yourself in this manner, time and time again is a recipe for owning the space you are standing in. Claim the air you are breathing and make your voice heard. Change the world, start now, right now!