None of us like to wait; waiting is one of the hardest things we have to do. There is no getting out of it; at some point or other we must wait for someone who is late to pick us up, wait in a line for anything, or wait for an answer or some news, so wait we do, and in many different ways. The waiting we do can be beneficial to us and offer us some opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have: we could sleep and catch up on some much-needed rest; we could read fiction or poetry and refresh ourselves that way; we could study ourselves or for classes we are taking and take care of our assignments; we could watch other people and speculate on their lives. These are all things that are positive in nature that we can do while waiting for something, but there are things most of do which really don’t affect the outcome and serve only to make us angry or frustrated such as jittering restlessly, constantly looking at the clock, make futile phone calls, or get angry at someone who also has no control over the situation. These are in no way refreshing or relaxing ways to pass the time until whatever you’re waiting for comes to pass, they actually only waste more time and are helpful to no one. When one approaches a situation where it is likely there will be some wait time it makes sense to come prepared for it. What do you do to pass the time while you’re waiting?
If one doesn’t want to be seen, even if you are not camouflaged by your surroundings, or if one is conserving energy, one of the best ways to do either is to remain very, very still. You can hide in plain sight if you remain perfectly still, not moving even your eyes; you regain lost energy, both physically and mentally, within stillness, leaving motion and speech behind. One may want to hide to keep danger at bay or when playing a game, or one may want to create some needed space from others. Being still is a good way to learn self-discipline, which is needed if you are wishing to conceal yourself for any reason, to get to know yourself better, or get to know the world better. Holding still is much more difficult than it looks or sounds. We feel a slight itch, or a foot would be much more comfortable if moved just the slightest bit, or we forgot to tell someone something; yet to be truly still one must resist all the urges that strike if we’ve truly resolved to practice stillness. Being still is another form of meditation as well, for the only way you can maintain perfect stillness is to take your mind out of your body and focus it so that your physical body has no physical reality while you gain or regain energy from your stillness. What does your mind focus on during your still times?
While the some performances are taking place, when there is a major event to attend, when there is a special time occurring, very often some background music serves to enhance those event’s quality. With the background music playing awkward pauses are avoided, small errors can be easily ignored, and the event itself highlighted. We have all been the one in the spotlight and we all have strong feelings about that, whether they are positive or negative. And we have been the background music as well; many of us feel more comfortable out of the spotlight, but feel good about performing a necessary complementary service. Some people would like to be and will maneuver to be in the spotlight all the time and don’t understand or won’t understand why others may not find their preference for the spotlight necessary or desirable. It is hard to dissuade these people from their aim inconspicuously, nevertheless the effort should be made. Others deserve their chance to be acknowledged, applauded, or sympathized with when they are the ones who have prepared, who have been delegated, or who have had an experience that singles them out for recognition. This applies especially to younger people, they need having the experience of being under the eyes of others, and without interfering guidance, in order to grow into confident young people. For us to take our places in the background is good discipline for us and can help us grow as well. Haven’t you felt proud to act as background music occasionally?
We can become so confident and proficient at something that we are prepared to take risks just to take part in something we know will give us excitement and pleasure. However we should remember that there is a risk in taking risks; we may have already done what we are presently doing and done it innumerable times before, but what of unexpected contingencies? What if we catch our wing tip on the face of a wave, what if we didn’t check that line or cord because we were in a hurry? Any risk-taker should also be almost obsessively careful and painstaking because there is nothing more harmful or disheartening than a risky undertaking attempted and failed, whether disastrously or comically. On the other hand all risk is not recreational and all risk is not foolish. We must take some risks in our lives or we may never gain anything we work toward. What if we hadn’t made the comment at that exact moment in time? What if we hadn’t jumped headlong into that relationship? As with almost anything, we should take a moment or more, if possible, for evaluation of the pluses and minuses of the situation we’re in before making any decisions. One major part of evaluating risk is to not take those moments or hours to do so, then move forward anyway if you know the balance of the risk is against you. However, when we realize we are making a risky move we should be ready to accept the consequences, positive or negative and continue from there. After all, wouldn’t life be somewhat dull if we took no risks at all?
Recreation is a necessary part of our lives – we all need it and it seems we never get enough it. When someone else is on the verge of taking off for a fun and recreational place, or if they’re already out there and having a good, relaxing time, we can get pretty envious. We should, too. Envy, being much milder than jealousy, can work to help motivate us toward finishing things we’ve committed to do or to work harder on goals we’ve made to further our interests. A small dose of envy can prod us further along a path we’ve already started down or cause us to create goals that we may not have realized were appropriate and that are directly beneficial to us. Once we realize that something is of direct benefit to us we’ll naturally put more effort into that thing whether it is day-to-day work or the recreation we were envious of in the first place. Envy of a person’s attributes may even be positive and provide you a new friend if presented properly. We must beware of envy morphing into jealousy, however; jealousy is a deterrent to any kind of progress for your mind cannot separate itself from the anger and resentment it feels from the fact that someone else has what you want. Even if you had not realized it or only think you may want what someone else has, it takes you out of yourself and transforms you into another person with new likes, dislikes, and goals, and those not always positive. It’s better to feel some envy than to lose yourself to the tyranny of jealousy. Can you see the positive side to envy?
Inquisitiveness is a fine trait to have for it shows you have curiosity and that you’re not afraid to try to find an answer if none is easily forthcoming. Being inquisitive is in no way prying or treading in places one shouldn’t, but it isn’t letting anything get by you either. Being inquisitive is wanting to know how things work, who people are, why something happens the way it does: it means having an interest in everything and wanting to learn about everything. There are two dangers to indiscriminate inquisitiveness: alienating people by probing too deeply into what they consider personal and exploring too deeply something that may be dangerous and that you don’t know enough about. Seasoned with watchfulness and care, being inquisitive can gain you much, but much can be lost through lack of basic knowledge of your subject. The inquisitive mind is rarely bored because anything can be an object of inquiry and interest, this is a wonderful trait to develop as we age since no one with many interests will find themselves with a lack of things to do and then evaluate. The more the mind is used, the less it can stagnate and become useless to us; a useless brain leads to a very unsatisfactory life. Developing and maintaining an inquisitive nature can also lead to better communication since it fosters honesty and a true desire to know how another thinks. This can only lead to less combative communication between those with opposing views. Wouldn’t we all rather communicate rather than confront?
In any set of circumstances there are many possibilities regarding the outcome. An important thing to remember is that the possibilities encompass all outcomes from thrillingly positive to frighteningly negative, but that we have an influence on them. And it is possible to look at the outcome from either a positive or negative standpoint. In that sense we have control over the direction any possibility travel toward. We may be more drawn toward one path more than another and we should think about what we’re doing before we’ve leapt into doing it, but once we’ve determined the possibility we’re irrevocably drawn to we should continue along that track until we reach the end we’re hoping for, until we reach a crossroads., or until we’ve failed to reach the desired ending point. Failing to reach the goal we thought possible is not a purely negative outcome and does not have to be the end of our hopes. There are many more possibilities awaiting us and we may reach our ultimate goal through another means entirely. The only failure is to refuse to see and acknowledge that there are more possibilities, endless possibilities to explore and to create ever more opportunities for us to experience and to take advantage of. As dim as your outlook may be, there is always the possibility of turning it around, to go in a new direction, and to find success in your endeavor. With positive possibilities you have only satisfaction and more to enjoy, and to enjoy the process as well. Exploring the possibilities available to you is a much better strategy than merely waiting for something to happen, don’t you think?