Monday, July 20, 2009

The Art of Waiting and Why It Should Stop Ruining Our Day

Have you ever been in a moment that you have been waiting for someone and he/she didn't come on time, or worse, didn't come at all? You felt upset and immediately it changed your mood the whole day. Or you started judging that the person is really disrespectful - and you started complaining here and there.

It's time to stop complaining if you, by any chance, have to wait for someone. There may be many reasons why they make you wait. The person you are waiting for may be; stuck in unexpected traffic jam, engine failure, or simply because of his bad time management. No matter what the reasons, we can change our attitude from 'we have to wait' to 'we choose to wait'. There are lots of things you can do whilst waiting for. One of the simplest to do is doing nothing.

Yes, just do nothing. I learn from the past that, yes, it is disrespectful if you make someone waiting for you, but it is as disrespectful as blaming that person for being late without any chance for him to explain. Back to reality; there are many possibilities that people come late, and we know that.

And learning from the past, we can choose to make our waiting time much more enjoyable than ever! It's our choice.

Here are some tips I have been doing to make my waiting time enjoyable, or at least, not a disaster for my whole day:

  1. Make yourself busy. We can always do things whilst waiting; writing, following-up some pending items of your job over the phone, arranging schedule, thinking about forward plans. Or maybe you can start talking to strangers to start opening your mind. We don't know that the person may be the savior for the whole future life. If you don't really want to make yourself busy with work, you can do things you like, your hobbies; listening to music, writing, or make yourself busy with your blackberry.

  2. Do nothing. I usually do this thing a lot. Many people don't have chance to do nothing because they 'don't' want to. It IS deliberate action to do nothing. Do nothing is great - we give chance for self, mind and soul to recover. Look at the sky, the people around, and just enjoy the bestest things universe has offered to us. Life is wonderful and just being in the world doing nothing is rare opportunity, particularly if we live in mega-cities.

  3. Breathe. Take a deep breath; you may do this only whilst sleeping. Having so many things to do in the office may make us forget how to really take a deep breath.

  4. Gratitude. Being grateful for everything in life is a like a magic; it creates abundance to our life. If we are grateful for great family, children, food, career we have, which are big things, then why should we be ungrateful with being alone waiting for someone, which is small thing? We fill life up with happiness in big things, then small things should not ruin our happiness.

  5. Set expectation. We can always set our expectation low, as low we can go. Say, 15 minutes waiting is worth the benefit we may get later. It's our choice. Having problem as perfectionist and you cannot let things off-track? You may want to start letting go things, which is fulfilling. Universe is perfect, human is not. So why we should be tired and being perfectionist if we know there will always be perfection above everything and our humanness? So, expect worst things happen. And accept them.

  6. Think from both side. You may want to try thinking from opposite side; the people you are waiting for may be having problem. Accident, engine failure, unexpected traffic jam. You know the best personality of person you're waiting for, if it's a lie or not.

  7. Monk lifestyle: waiting is giving. I really admire how monks live life; when waiting is unproductive, annoying thing for people, they treat it as GIVING. We give chances, freedom and choices for that person.

Peace of mind, to or not to be happy, is our choice. Waiting is just like other productive activities. And doing nothing is really something.

Waiting for my time to do nothing, in place like this. :)

Picture from Faisal Reza, photographer and traveling buddy. Thanks for the enlightment, buddy!

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