Grant me patience…

I’ve recently been re-reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. I don’t know if you’ve ever read it but it is a fascinating book. Written in 1937, it is the distillation of interviews with over 500 successful businessmen (yes, I do mean men – it was 1937 after all) to create a formula for wealth that anyone can apply.

I’ve read it before and been a bit non-plussed, if I’m honest. I’ve always seen it as something of a curate’s egg (good in parts) and as a fascinating reflection on the thinking and philosophy of that era, but couldn’t quite see why others get so excited about it.

This time, however, I’ve been reading it with a very specific aim of my own in mind: To be a successful writer. That has made all the difference in how I read it and how I apply the content. Now, I’m writing out my goal in really specific words and being really clear on what I am going to do to achieve it. I’m building faith in my ability to be the success I desire to be. I’m using my imagination to see ways to get there. It is having a profound and motivating impact on me. I’m still reading, of course, so I know there is more to come.

What it has done, however, is highlight one facility I need to have that Hill doesn’t cover. Patience. I want success, I know what service I will offer to have that success, I am clear about what I am prepared to do to get there… The problem is, I want it NOW! This minute! Right Away!

Sadly, the world doesn’t quite work like that and I’m finding that a bit frustrating. After all, I’ve sent my wish out into the universe – so why aren’t people flocking to my website to buy my books by the millions? How come my first piece of paid work hasn’t led to my being inundated with further requests? I know, of course, that everyone else is working on their goals and making their own plans – in which I may feature, of course – but that means they need to buy my books and commission my talents in their own time.

I just find it hard. I know what I want – and I know it so strongly that it almost burns. Taking small steps takes a discipline that the philosophy of ‘snatch’ (which seems to be the ethos of the western world) doesn’t really accommodate. I’m learning though – thanks to the endless patience of those around me – and to my own willingness to continue to learn and keep moving forwards.

Every time I see my impatience though, I am reminded of an old, ironic, prayer I once heard.

Lord, grant me patience. Just get on with it!


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