Here you are, about to take another step across the river and you choose to leap instead. Guess what happens next…
Most of my life, I’ve been described as impatient and restless. Not in a medical sense but just by people who knew me well.
They were right. I am impatient. Especially when things take longer than I believe they should. There are a lot of people like me and with the speed, we can retrieve information or have things delivered to our door, impatience has become a standard modus operandi in modern society.
Here’s what happens, though. When things take longer than you expect, you tend to intervene and attempt to speed up the process. Do you know where that gets you?
Square one and sometimes it can set you further back than square one.
Skipping a few steps
You’re standing on the bank of a river that has huge rocks and boulders littered across the riverbed making up a path. All of the rocks and boulders are different sizes. Some bigger than others.
You want to get from your side of the river to the other side, so you can move on to your destination. You head out onto the first stone, then the next and so on. As you step from one to the next, making your way across the river, you look forward at how much further you’ve got to go and you feel as though you’ve been at it for a while yet still have a long way to go.
You continue, but your impatience grows. When you stop and reassess how much further you have left, you get frustrated and decide to skip the rock in front of you and leap to the boulder after that. The plan here is to start skipping rocks to speed things up.
So you take the leap and you realise that you’ll make it and your front foot lands, but because of the bigger distance, your footing isn’t as stable as it could be. Your foot slips and you fall headfirst into the gushing water. The water has a strong current which pulls you downstream, further away from the stoned path, eventually taking you out of sight of your destination.
Some time passes and you find yourself dumped by the river bank with no bearings except knowing that the path was somewhere upstream and will take a long time to get back to.
As you pull yourself together you begin the trek back to the path you had begun on and realise that it will take at least another hour to get back to where you started.
Then you think. “All of this because I got impatient and decided to skip a stepping stone!”
Take my advice. Whenever you try to skip a step because you think it will speed things up or you believe that your footing will be fine, stop and ask yourself “Will the self-inflicted setbacks be worth it?”
Chances are, your answer will be a reassuring “no”.
This is a story written by a repeat offender. Learn my lessons. It’s usually not worth it.