The Waiting Game

Sometimes I make the mistake of doing something, and waiting for the result.

A crass mistake, because, after having done “the thing”, waiting can only lead to a result: anxiety.

While you wait, by definition, there is no longer any way to influence the outcome. Then, the vacuum of inactivity can filled by that resource that is always close at hand: neuroticism.

The wiser path: start doing the next thing. Activity is rarely wasted, and a busy mind does not suffer from anxiety.

This tactic comes with a bonus: if the expected outcome of the first thing does not materialize, we will be already busy with the latest thing, and we will not have time to curse our bad luck. And as we leave a trail of many works completed behind us, sooner or later, one will bear fruit. It does not matter which one.

Moving on to the next job, instead of waiting for the latest to bear fruit, is almost a magic trick to double personal productivity.

(But avoid using this approach when the project in question is to find a sweetheart. Doesn’t work well.)

Painting: “Waiting, Rue de Chateaubriand, Paris” by Jean Béraud