Growing slowly

Farmer-in-field

There’s something I wish I could just wave a magic wand and change right now. And that is: the length of time it takes to achieve one’s dream.

When starting out in my business, my sheer naiveté worked to my advantage and enabled me to take risks I likely would not have taken if I had known what I was doing.  As initial naiveté morphs into the daily, consistent actions that move me one step closer towards making my dream a reality, I struggle with how long the bloody thing takes (pardon my French). I find myself wishing a fairly godmother would show up to wave her wand and magically transport me from where I am to where I want to be.

The reality of slow growth is excruciating at times. The truth is: I’m growing. I’m moving steadily and consistently in the direction I want to go. While this is cause for satisfaction and celebration, I find that more often than not, my reaction is despair over the fact that it’s taking so much longer than I thought it would to get where I want to be.

I’ve never been known for being a patient person. Words like driven, determined, and daring are words used far more to describe me. I have a tendency towards instant gratification and wanting everything at once. This shows up in my life in all kinds of ways. For example:

  • I have difficulty cleaning only one part of my house at a time. I want the entire thing to be clean and tidy, top to bottom, all on the same day. I will frequently not start on house cleaning unless I have time to handle the whole project (at least everything that shows).
  • I am terrible with TV series . I hate cliff-hangers because I don’t want to wait an entire week to find out what happens next. Netflix has by and large solved this problem for me, except that I have been known to spend an entire weekend working through a series because I don’t have to wait to find out what happens next.
  • It frustrates me that I don’t have the resources to purchase everything I need to once and for all complete setting up my apartment. My current modus operandi of buying a knife set one month, coffee tables the next, and lamps the next is irritating, so is the long list of things I still need to turn my apartment into the home I want to be living in.

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Bottom line: I get so focused on the destination that I forget about the importance of the journey. I want to just be there already. Like the child who whines during a long trip, “Are we there yet?”

When I observe the world around me, it’s clearly apparent that everything takes time to grow. A tree, a baby, crops, animals. Growth is a process that occurs over time. The farmer doesn’t plow and plant his field and then throw in the towel the next day when the crops haven’t sprouted overnight.

Likewise, my business, my dreams and my new life won’t just spring up overnight. It would be incredibly unrealistic for me to think that they will. I need the patience of the farmer, who plows and plants and tends his crops daily, steadily working towards the goal of the harvest. The farmer trusts that the harvest will come, and he has the patience and determination to keep going while the crops grow.

Trust-The-Process

This whole concept that I have been struggling with brings to mind a song from a movie that I saw in my youth “Brother Sun”, by Franco Zepherelli. The movie chronicled the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. As a child, I didn’t enjoy the movie much on account of the extreme poverty, leprosy and male nudity. I loved the music though. And this song in particular has stuck with me. It’s a simple chant, that contains a powerful truth.

This song came to my mind the other day as I was thinking about how slow growth is, and wrestling with my own impatience about this. If we want our dreams to be, we will have to knuckle down and build it slow and surely. It’s a simple truth that is sometimes a hard one to swallow.

Listen to “If You Want Your Dream To Be” by Donovan here. (As the song comes from an old movie, I only found one rendition of it, which includes part of the movie, where Francis’s friend hears about the changes he’s made and comes to check on him).

Lyrics:

If You Want Your Dream To Be…

If you want your dream to be

Build it slow and surely.

Small beginnings, greater ends.

Heartfelt work grows purely.

 

If you want to live life free

Take your time go slowly.

Do few things but do them well.

Simple joys are holy

 

Day by day,

Stone by stone,

Build your secret slowly.

 

Day by day,

You’ll grow too,

You’ll know Heaven’s glory.

 

If you want your dream to be

Build it slow and surely.

Small beginnings, greater ends

Heartfelt work grows purely.

If you want to live life free, take your time go slowly.

 

Comments: 3

  1. Lauren January 27, 2014 at 9:27 pm Reply

    so eloquently stated! I want my dream NOW! LOL…..I, too, can deeply resonate with learning patience and wanting to wave the magic wand NOW. Steady growth, step by step, and enjoying the journey is a beautiful thing. My neural pathways need to get the message! LOL. Yes, we need to continue to fertilize and nurture our dreams. They are happening and it is a great reason to celebrate! Celebrating with you!!! <3 :0

  2. Helen Allen January 28, 2014 at 3:04 am Reply

    Beautiful as always. I’ll share my patience with you, if you will share your drive, determination, and daring with me.

    Love,
    -Helen

  3. Diane Haworth January 29, 2014 at 2:36 pm Reply

    Thanks for sharing your frustrations and keen insights. Beautifully written…thank you for allowing others a glimpse into your journey.

    Much love,
    Diane

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