We are an impatient sort. Instant gratification seems more prevalent than ever before. No generation is exempt from this feeling of wanting it now rather later. From career to tangible goods, we just want our milestones and stuff now!
A contrary example appeared this week. Most of us are in awe of the Pluto images being transmitted from 3 billion miles away. What is equally amazing is the journey took over nine years. The timeline extends back even earlier when you add in all the work prior to the launch.
A key question arises: Can you wait nine years to gain a big result?
The short answer should be “yes.” However, getting to this point takes several big things to happen.
The Big Factors in Patience
Patience is essential in what matters most. Patience is not about waiting your turn. Patience is about doing the work.
To make patience work, there are five big factors to consider and embrace.
1 – Big Mission
Patience requires a big mission. A magnificent mission with extreme clarity. When impatience creeps in, the big mission will keep you focused. When you get tired, the big mission will keep you motivated.
To achieve great things, start with a big mission.
2 – Big Preparation
Patience empowers preparation. Meaningful impacts rarely happen on a fluke. Years of planning and honing your craft are required to get to the place of uncommon results. Thoughtful planning triumphs over erratic tasks any day. Planning the work is as important as doing the work.
To achieve a big mission, develop persistent plans.
3 – Big Work
Nothing worthwhile is easy. Big missions are not found in convenience stores. Hard work is demanding yet necessary. Our heads will hurt from all the thinking required. Our eyes will glaze over by all the reading involved. Our fingers will ache by the manual effort completed and expected. Patience is doing the work, step-by-step, page-by-page, and turn-by-turn.
Preparation is just a plan on paper without big work. Do the big work.
4 – Big Faith
Uncertainty is the plague that scares many from doing the patient work of achieving a big mission. Big missions require big faith. Big faith imagines what is possible. Big faith picks us up when we fall, and we will fall often. Big faith returns the sparkle to our soul and the bounce in our work steps.
At points in time, we need to look back and be inspired by our work done. We also need to keep looking forward to the big impact we can have. Mixing inspiration and aspiration fires us up.
Big missions require big faith. Enlarge your capacity for faith and keep it fresh.
5 – Big Community
The Pluto work was not a solo venture. Big missions never are.
Big missions require a big community. Our community consists of mentors, challengers, foes, and supporters. Our community requires a diversity of age, views, experiences, and much more. Big missions require people who will make us better in what we are trying to achieve.
To make a big impact requires a big group of people who have our back and challenge us to do better things in better ways.
To achieve a big mission, build a big community. More than this, engage a big, diverse community.
Always Remember Those Before and Those After
Even with our big missions, we need to remember the people before us. Each generation strengthens the foundation from where we reach. The ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930, are aboard the New Horizons. Work continues from his discoveries.
We also need to remember the people who come after us. Right now, we are in the moment of what we see from Pluto. However, data will continue to stream 16 months later. New team members will analyze, learn, and develop their own big missions. We set the stage for the next generation of big missions.
We are in an age of a new patience. Call it the patience of Pluto.
Remember. The new patience is not waiting. The new age of patience is wanting something better. Be big.
Join the Conversation
Can You Wait Nine Years?
Those pictures of Pluto are amazing. I also really appreciate this post. It struck me as well how many years it took to reach Pluto and how many things could have gone wrong – yet the persisted on their vision. Truly, having something bigger than you to call you forward to be and do your best takes a job and makes it a calling. Nine years is a long time to wait but when it’s worth it, you do.
Plan on sharing this one far and wide.
Thank you, Alli. The Pluto mission is amazing in so many ways, especially in the patience it exemplifies. The mission creates a perspective we need to understand and then work towards in our own lives. Thanks! Jon