Life is one giant waiting game. I have to wait at red lights, wait in line to get some coffee and wait in line at the post office for stamps. I wait in line here, there and all around town.
Sounds like a normal, run-of-the-mill day, doesn’t it? Many are the polls taken that can show you how much time is spent while we wait for red lights, or in line somewhere or for many other things. Some of them even offer constructive tips on what to do with that time, so you can “maximize” it.
Yet, how often does the information being presented offer a way to change the entire scenario to the point where people actually enjoy waiting for something?
Can that be done? Can it truly be that there is a way for a person to actually look forward to having their lives momentarily stalled? The answer, of course, is yes, it is possible. Even more encouraging news is that only one item needs to change for this transformative process to work. Greater still is that it impacts the rest of your life in tremendous ways and fashions. All that needs to be done is…
Let go of your expectations.
When you get into your car to drive home or around town, the mind is so focused on the next tasks, chores or events that are going to happen that the expectation is to hurry to the destination so that whatever it is can unfold. If you’re standing in line at the famous coffee place, it’s probably because you are going to or coming back from work. Time feels like it is zooming by while you are standing there, doesn’t it? Let’s change that feeling! All you need to do is release any expectations you have about this experience and you won’t see time as an enemy.
Releasing the expectations for any given experience allows us to make better use of the time it takes to do something. While waiting at the red light, look at your surroundings and find something you did not notice before—a bird flying in the breeze, the tree swaying in the gentle wind or the type of stone a building is made from. Anything that helps take the conscious mind away from you thinking, “I’m wasting time here!” When you arrive at your destination you will be relaxed and calm and the people you come into contact with will appreciate that.
By letting go of the expectation of a quick travel process, we have taken time to remind ourselves of the world around us. If a stronger, motivational thought is needed, then think of this: All of us knew the red lights were there when we signed up for our driver’s license. It did not deter us then, nor should it now. The ability to drive was more alluring then of course, but the act in itself has not changed.
In waiting in line for that great cup of coffee, we can release the expectation of a quick in and out visit. By doing so, we might notice a couple holding hands, which reminds us of our love for the person in our lives. Or an advertisement might catch your eye, reminding you of good memories with friends and family. A stranger’s heated cell phone discussion could remind us how not to act. As you can see, there is a lot to do and think about while waiting in line!
We have choices in life. Choice is a wonderful thing. We chose to drive (while understanding that red lights are out there), but expecting a quick journey can be put out of our minds when we close the car door. Going out for coffee can be relaxing once we set aside the expectation of the quick dash in and out. We make the choice to do whatever, knowing the possible “pitfalls” it may contain. Releasing the expectation for a given outcome allows the time waiting to be better spent, and it might even surprise us with the information we come across.