Yesterday was another life lesson – this time delivered to my by Lily.
I was brushing my teeth and thinking about this interview I listened to with a guy who went through similar career struggles as me but figured out a way to build a website around his passion and make a living from it. And once again, I felt immense frustration with not being able to turn Renegade Dad into a full-time living.
Why am I not able to do this?
I’ve worked hard. I should be way more successful by now.
Why isn’t this working for me?
I’ve been at this for years!
What’s my problem?
I know deep down that I should appreciate these stories and see what I can learn from them. But I just feel so much frustration. That’s the honest to God truth and I have to own up to it.
So as I’m brushing my teeth I’m trying to think about the meaning of this frustration and I remind myself that pain and frustration are actually a good thing. They occur to bring us to a better place in life.
And instead of getting hung up in a state of frustration, I should feel gratitude for this struggle, because it’s happening for a reason. It’s here to teach me a lesson.
I finish brushing my teeth and go downstairs to help Lily get ready for the beach. As I’m helping Lily get ready for the beach she holds up 2 little princess dolls and says “play with me Dad.”
I tell her “Lily I have to get you ready for the beach and then I can play with you.”
But she keeps on the way she does, relentless in her request. She keeps saying it over and over again, getting louder and louder each time. “Daddy please play with me!”
So I tell her “Lily, you have to have patience.”
Then she gives me this ridiculously cute look of confusion and says “Dad what is patience?”
I pause and think “How do you define patience to a 2 year old?”
“Well Lil, patience is when you want something, but you wait for it calmly.
You don’t scream and ask for it over and over again. You wait calmly for it.”
As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I smiled because I realized that this lesson on Patience was really for me not Lily.
So to my future self, when you feel frustrated because you aren’t achieving what you expected, slow down and have some patience.
Remember that getting attached to a specific outcome almost always leads to pain and frustration.
And the most important thing, the way to really get what you truly want, is to be totally present in whatever it is you are doing right now.
There will always be struggles. But the important thing is how you respond to them.
Slow down and be patient. Because it’s all happening to bring you to a better place, even if you can’t see it right now.