Maybe It’s Time To Stop Busting Your Ass
Two quotes have been going around lately which are laying waste to the original, “Good things come to those who wait.”
“Good things come to those who…bust their ass.” – Who Knows
“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” – Abraham Lincoln
I’m the last guy to argue with the spirit of either of these new quotes, in fact I love them, but I’m here to tone down the ass busting and to defend the context buried deep below the word “wait.”
In Defense Of “Waiting”
For creators, success is never just about solving problems, is it? It’s about finding the right problems to solve.
Because if you’re not careful, you can bathe yourself in any work (emails, texts, social media, non-critical stuff, too many projects) and still be no closer to a solution.
But even when you’ve found the right problems to solve, creators have to allow the right solutions to present themselves. And those creative solutions often flourish in a broth of thoughtful patience.
True, this patience and “waiting” is not one of hand sitting and dust collecting. It’s about resiliency and not giving up simply because something didn’t get solved right away in the one manner you tried. It’s about pondering, marinating and having an opinion about something that took you more than 5 seconds to think of.
Einstein, Da Vinci, Mozart (you know, those peeps anyone would deem as having above average creative minds) were some of the most prolific ass busters the world has ever seen but they also knew the power of patience, of looking at a problem differently, of enjoying walks, of napping, of taking breaks. Because it is often in the released tension that a solution to become dislodged.
After TEN YEARS of analyzing and incessantly thinking about the problem of general relativity, Einstein chose to give up one evening. He went to bed early and when he woke up, the solution had presented itself. (From: Mastery)
A Happy Medium
When we read stuff like, “Fortune comes to the doer, the one who treads her own path, the one who doesn’t ask for permission,” we imagine that this ass-busting and hustling is solely about embodying your inner Tasmanian Devil, flailing about like a task-completing lunatic. After all:
“Hump enough things and you’re bound to get lucky.” – Every dog ever
But busting your ass has to be a combination of you being impatient enough to pick yourself and do the work now, but patient enough to let greatness sprout where you weren’t originally looking.
It’s that Goldilocks Zone again. Because too much of impatience or patience, is a detriment.
Too much impatience will turn any doer into just a busy bee. But too much patience will turn any creator into just a dreamer.
The question then becomes, can you bust your ass hard enough to separate yourself from doubt and laziness, while having the wherewithal to keep your busted ass from burning out before you get to where you’re going?