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“You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow…
Everyone is just waiting.”
Are you in the waiting place?
If you’ve noticed, now is the time to work through it.
Episode 132 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark Episode 132. The Waiting place. Mm hmm. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move your desk? Hello my friends. I hope you are having a great week. I am even though it’s had a lot of pain and insights involved in the process. But that’s how life goes, doesn’t it? No pain, no gain. And there must be opposition and all things, the yin and the yang of it. I always have a long list of possible topics to talk about. And I even prepared a topic last night yet when I sat down today to record this podcast, I didn’t want to do it. My mind kind of went blank and it goes blank a lot right before I’m starting to record because I think maybe I’m not ready to talk about this. Maybe I should talk about something else. But of course, if you’ve prepared something that would probably be the best thing to talk about, wouldn’t it? Not. So my friends, apparently today, I’m not going to talk about the topic I prepared. I’m going to talk about another topic that is on my mind and I will probably get clarity about it after I do this episode. But I’m going to do it anyway because it’s practice and maybe there’s a nugget or two in here for you. I already know. There will be one for me. So periodically I quote from Children’s books and it’s been a while since I’ve quoted from a Children’s book, but I wanted to pull one out today. And the more I’ve read from this book, the more I do not think of it as a Children’s book. I think of it as a human’s book because it’s for all humans for no matter what part of life you’re in and many of you have read this book, it’s a dr Seuss book and it is, oh, the places you’ll go, ironically, I’m going to talk about a part of the book where the people aren’t going anywhere. And so I’m going to take a minute to read the couple little pages to you. These pages always stopped me in my tracks. Every time I get to them. For some reason I stop and think about it. So I hope you think about it today. Here we go. You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break necking pace and grind on for miles across. Weird ish. Wild space headed, I fear towards a most useless place. The waiting place for people just waiting, waiting for a train to go or a bus to come or a plane to go or the mail to come or the rain to go or the phone to ring or the snow to snow or waiting around for a yes or a no or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for a friday night or waiting perhaps for their uncle jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance everyone is just waiting. Do you remember that part of the book every time I get to it, I actually pause, which is funny because it’s about waiting. But I also, in those moments think about other people in my life and myself and I wonder and I think, oh yeah, that person says they’re waiting for a phone call for a job. I’m waiting for my kids to get older so I can do that. I’m waiting until we have enough money. I’m waiting till I have a break. So I have the flexibility to take on that challenge or do that cool race. I’m waiting until I’m not so stressed. I’m waiting until they find a cure. It’s very interesting to look at this from the perspective of mindset and the specific coaching model that I have used because in that we talk a lot about how circumstances are important situations are important, but they’re not as important as we make them seem at times or we make them mean things that they don’t have to mean and what we think about it drives our feelings and those feelings drive our actions or behaviors and those actions and behaviors have certain results now. Waiting can be thought of as a feeling. A thought or an action, depending on how you put it in a sentence, but let’s put it in a sentence and say, I’m just waiting for someone to call to give me an interview and to think about what kind of feeling you have when you’re awaiting Now in the dr Seuss book, there’s many examples right there. Waiting for the rain, the mail, the phone, the snow uncle jake a better break another chance. What is the feeling that you have when you think this way that you need to wait? In some ways it’s incapacitating when I think of it right now, kind of an incapacitating feeling or like you can’t do anything about it helpless, hopeless. There are many other feelings we can have. But what do we do from those feelings? What kind of actions do we take? Well, if we’re just waiting, we might be thinking about it a lot. Right, So, we could be engaged in quite a bit of mind churn and thought loops going around and around. Well, just if this changed, I could do this, if this would just happen, I could do this, but none of that’s happening. So, I’m going to sit here. What am I gonna do? Let me find something to do and we kind of are wandering a little bit. Right? Just kind of not taking charge, not taking control of ourselves and what is the result of that? Well, you’re just waiting right? Pretty much nothing is happening. That’s different now. The interesting thing about this is that a lot of us stay very busy in this waiting, right? We do come up with things to do, but they aren’t exactly the things we want to happen and they certainly aren’t bringing results related to the things we want to wait for. And so I’ve been paying attention a lot to this lately as I go through another phase of figuring out what I want to do, what’s the best use of my time in this process. I realized that I have been doing some more waiting than I thought I was doing. I was waiting for things to fall into place in other people’s lives versus deciding Rebecca you are completely in charge of making this happen and realizing, oh, even though I am busy all the time because I’m very good at filling up the calendar. I have been waiting on some things and because I have been waiting, I have been living below my capabilities and capacities isn’t that interesting. I, I’m getting a lot done and I believe that everything I’m getting done is good. And why do I believe that? Because when I plan my day, my week, my life, I do it based upon values and priorities that I think are important. I’m very focused. I’m not a lot of frivolous, Of course, some of you may disagree with some of my things, but most everything I do, you would say is fairly practical. I’m not living out on the fringes, but I’m taking a close look at how I use my time and go, wow, I feel like I’m adding value, but is this the value that I’m meant to create? And it’s really helped me take a hard look at some of my activities and things that I focus on. Now. Some of us have the problem of becoming too productive and efficient that we start entering the robot zone, right? We’re like accomplish, accomplish, accomplish and we forget to be human. Right? And so I’m so proud of myself yesterday I’m out there burning weeds last night in the burn barrel and I see some people drive up to the house nearby and I went over and I talked to them and I gave them 10 or 12 ft and talked a little louder because I wanted to respect whatever their social distances and got to know them and didn’t realize, but they knew my mother’s twin brother, Mhm, which is super cool because he lives in another state. And so do we. So I had this human interaction and I thought how great is this? I took a moment to go spend some time here and then I thought how bad is it that I think this is a great moment because I am not getting out and having tons of social interactions right now and I have a small group of people that I communicate with online and that’s very purposeful. But all of this to say that taking a close look at ourselves regularly is always helpful if it’s in a way that helps us realize we’re human, we’re just trying to figure it out, we’re doing the best we can, but we’d like to figure out that next step of growth. And as I took a look at this this week, I had some insights that were invaluable to me as I realized Rebecca you are helping some people and you love helping some people, what’s the next step in doing that? You’ve been waiting in some areas of your work and it’s time to step it up and make some decisions and trust that when you make those decisions there will be a way provided for you to do it and that you will excel at it and have the energy and the time you need as well as the ability to honor your own values and commitments. One activity that I’ve added to my schedule is having a weekly accountability conversation with one of my friends Brenda Christensen and this is something I feel strongly about but I haven’t been doing lately. I even wrote a little book about getting an accountability partner because I found it so powerful in my life and what Brenda and I talk about is related to sales funnels and marketing and she has learned a lot from Russell Bronson who is an expert in this kind of thing. But what’s awesome about Brenda is that she comes to the conversation with a master’s degree or an M. B. A. In marketing and she has a lot of experience. And having her as an accountability partner is wonderful for me because each week I have to study and read something, I have to create the next step in my own sales and marketing efforts. And knowing that I have an expert on the other end of this equation is helping me step up to the challenge. As I’ve gone through this experience, I’ve been alerted to myself realizing that I had been waiting. I’ve done a heck of a lot of learning, I do a lot of helping other people do it, but I have had a hard time doing it for myself lately because it’s a little different when you have to toot your own horn. It’s it’s just not the same for some of us, I’d rather have someone else do it. But the interesting thing about this process is I’ve had some other insights and I’m like wait a second, I can do this every week with an accountability partner while also continuing to consult and while also continuing to be an online instructor and while also looking for other job opportunities and I had kind of decided in my mind over this last year that I had too many challenges that I had to undertake. So I could only handle a certain amount of consulting a certain amount of building my business and a certain amount of time instructing. And I was waiting, waiting for the exact right opportunity, perhaps waiting, thinking I had some extra insight I had to receive before taking some steps and then realizing that this waiting wasn’t serving me or my family in any way now. Perhaps it was serving. Perhaps I had to learn certain lessons and have time to reflect and work on myself in certain ways and deal with certain special challenges that I get to deal with at this time. But the moment I become aware of it, I’ve realized is the time to start working on it. Have you noticed that in your life, the minute you gain awareness of something is the time to start working on it. And I’ve decided that there’s no problem that it took me that long to become aware because I got to learn certain other things that my focus was on. But now that I’ve been given this awareness, I get to work on this and part of the awareness came when I was in this accountability partnership and I said to Brenda, well, it’s just like there’s a hallway of doors and we’re just supposed to go down the hallway and keep opening doors and see what happens right and you think that there’s going to be things behind doors that you’ll love. And so you’re like, sweet, I’m so glad that doors in that hallway and then you open the door and you’re like, yeah, it’s pretty good. But it’s not quite what I thought and that’s where I think the waiting begins right? You open the door, it’s not quite what I thought, but I’m gonna keep going with it because I always thought I wanted to look behind this door and there’s this waiting. It’s almost like waiting for it to become better than it actually is waiting for it to become different and really what we need to do in that point is perhaps go, yeah, I open this door. I’m trying it. I’ll keep trying it. But let me also keep meandering down the hallway. There’s some other doors and maybe I will have a stronger feeling or match if I go try one of those doors. After I shared that experience with her, I was mowing the lawn and out of the blue. I had the thought, well what would be wrong with having a full time job? What what would be wrong with that you’ve recognized through consulting and through and instructing online that you do enjoy working with people, you do enjoy solving problems with people, helping them get to their next level of growth. What would be wrong with it? And in that process I realized I was making it wrong in my mind two pursue a job just because I have these other interests and consulting and being an instructor and being an entrepreneur and I had closed that door in my mind saying, nope, not gonna do that anymore, not interested, but as I’ve had a couple of interviews in the past week or so I’ve realized, you know what, there’s great people everywhere. There’s great teams everywhere, There’s great problems that are being solved. Why not put your hat in the ring and while you’re doing that, you can still consult a little bit, you can still teach a little bit, you can still keep creating your product, You can just take steps in these every week and realized, oh I am allowed to do it all in little pieces and parts in ways that I hadn’t done it in the past and it’s okay and all of these things don’t need to be quote unquote successful at the same time. But at the end of the day, what is important is that I don’t sit there waiting To see which one will be the best fit. It’s important to keep going down the hallway and opening the doors, seeing what’s behind them and learning from that part of the reason I had these insights is because a month or so ago I started teaching an online class and I was given access to the material literally two or three days before and I already had a lot going on in those two or three days. So I felt like I was Sometimes one step ahead of the students and sometimes a step or two behind and to add to that, I was called a day before saying will you take on another section of this course? And I said of course yes, I’ll do it because in my mind I thought this is great, it’s the same topic. I just have to replicate everything I do in one section to the other section. But what is also replicated is the number of assignments you get to grade, Which is now upwards of about 500 assignments a week. Now some of these are quick but I’m trying to provide individual feedback on a few of the key assignments every week. And so that takes thinking time and that takes preparation because in the first few assignments I have to make sure that I’m following the rubric because it’s the first time I’ve seen the rubric and it’s the first time I’ve seen the assignment myself. Right? So the first, I don’t know, four or five, I’m getting the hang of it. And then I get into 10 or 20. I’m like, okay, this is good, I can see the pattern of what they need to work on. I can see what we’re really going for on this assignment And then I get to about 50 and every time I’m around that 50 mark, I’m like I think I’ve already corrected 100 of these, it seems like I should be coming toward the end and then I realized, no, no, you’re only at around 50. Like you have got to be kidding me, I have more to go. And so it kind of stressed me out a little bit because I think my word, it’s just never ending because you have people bringing things in late, but you’ve already started into the next week. So on any given day I’m answering questions from three weeks worth of material And I have to stay on my toes. And because many people have English as a second language, I realized, oh I need to be very clear on some things, I just can’t say go back and do that in the assignment. I have to say go back to assignment 6. 1 and do this. And so I have to catch myself because sometimes I’ll write something up and I’m like wait a second, you got to rewrite that you’ve got to do it, so it’ll be translated properly or better. And how do I know, I just know a little spanish. I don’t know much about any language. This is not a sweet spot for me. I thought about this this week and thought, wait a second, this is fascinating. I have just really learned something about myself, I love to take something disorganized and organize it and learn it and get a process down for it. But once the processes in place, once I figured it out, I want to move on to something else. Alright, I don’t want to be on the assembly line, been there, done that right, we all worked our fast food restaurants, I worked in a food processing plant where the breaded okra came down the line and you had to separate the little pieces of okra, flip them around so they could go through the next breeder and get the next layer of reading and you didn’t get a break, you sat there like a robot and had to do the things No, I don’t want to do that now, I’d love to help figure out how to make that assembly line work and I think it’s important to always take a seat at the table and be part of it, so you can see what goes wrong, what are the issues but to recognize in myself, oh, once it becomes so assembly lined, I need to be involved in different things and so that was huge to me because at the end of the day I thought I have spent 10 hours this Saturday working on this over and over and over now I get it now, I know what videos to create, to explain this concept. Now I know what kind of feedback to give for this and now I need to move on to the next step but in this process I also realized how important it is to always have a seat at that assembly line, so to speak. And so I discovered, oh, you know what going forward. I would always like to teach one college class, Just one that’s it under 50 students. Help them to my greatest capacity and have that is something I do 5, 7, 8 hours a week. And it keeps you in touch with the problems people are facing as they’re learning. But the rest of the time I want to be part of the systems, the processes, the negotiating the figuring out things and once in a while creating something and once in a while editing something and having that be all part of my work. Isn’t that interesting to find out. And that’s when I recognize, oh, it’s fine to be fully engaged with a group of people moving toward a goal. It’s absolutely fine that if on the side I keep on creating a product, it’s absolutely fine if I consult or I help people pro bono as I want to. As long as all of these things demonstrate that I’m moving forward that I’m learning and growing that I’m being helpful that I’m not sitting around waiting for the world to do something for me and that my friends, I think is offering up your best work. It is a journey to figure that out and I will fully admit that I am still on the journey and I’m making mistakes and I’m trying new things and I’m getting stuck behind certain doors in that hallway, thinking that something else will happen. But I want to continue reading in this book for a minute from Dr Seuss just to wrap this up and I will reread part of the last page because it matters. Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for the wind to fly a kite or waiting around for a friday night or waiting perhaps for their uncle jake or a pot to boil or a better break or a string of pearls or a pair of pants or a wig with curls or another chance. Everyone is just waiting. No, that’s not for you. Somehow you’ll escape all that waiting and staying. You’ll find the bright places where boom bands are playing with banner flip flapping once more. You’ll ride high ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you’re that kind of guy. Oh, the places you’ll go, there is fun to be done. There are points to be scored. There are games to be won and the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winningest winner of all. Okay, my friends, it’s time to stop waiting. And it’s not a time to judge yourself about your waiting and two regret all the lost time. It’s a time to go. Oh wow, I’m grateful that I had this thought that I’m waiting on something now. I’m aware now I can take action and move forward and guess what? You’ll start offering up even better work. Go out there and open the next door. I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com.