"Oh my God! You have short hair!"
I sighed. Yes, I have short hair.
I'd worn mid-length hair since I was 19 years old until getting a butchered-bad haircut in Vietnam. It was already pretty bad, so I said screw it - let's see how I look without hair.
But apparently friends new and old all expect to me to have that mid-length shaggy hair that I have in all my photos.
What can I do about it?
There's a great many things that have lag time on them - you start the process, but then you need to wait a number of weeks for bureaucracy, or approvals, or for someone to get back to you, or for just a general sense of timing.
Now, it's worth saying that you don't always have to wait. I'm a believer in patience in macro, but not in micro. Meaning, you're willing to be very patient about working on goals or plans that take many months or years, but not particularly willing to stand in line if it's at all avoidable.
Yesterday, checkout was going extremely slow and I just wanted to get a bottle of water at a little store. There's three employees, but only one cash register. So I ask one of the employees if I can overpay and leave without my change - he says yes, and I do so. Costs me a few cents, but gives me 5-10 minutes of my life back. Good trade.
So by all means, try to navigate around waiting in line. Structure your life so you're not forced into situations you have to suffer through. Move closer to your job so you don't have to commute. Live in a walking city if possible, so short errands are a pleasurable walk instead of a drive. Try to shop for groceries and clothing off-hours if possible, so the stores are emptier and there's less of a wait. Get reservations beforehand, or have a few different places in mind if you're going out to eat - again, don't wait to get seated. That's your life that's slowly fading away as time passes.
But what do you when you want your hair long and it's short?
What do you do when you want to drop some pounds you put on?
You set the correct daily eating habits...
...and you wait.
It's worth studying patience - learning from people throughout history that had the discipline and fortitude to keep moving towards what they want, no matter how long it takes.
How to get that?
A few thoughts -
1. Know what you're working towards. If you're reaching for something you want enough, then suffering becomes almost pleasurable. You remind yourself that this is a necessary part of the process to what you want.
2. Have enough things going on that you don't notice. If you've only got one business proposal you're working on, and nothing else, you're going to be sweating while it's under review and approvals. Keep multiple balls in the air. That lets you shift focus during one of the lulls.
3. By all means, look for faster ways. There might be one. But if there isn't, then you wait. You'll suffer less in waiting if you've got other things going on. But even the suffering of waiting can be pleasurable if it's for something you want bad enough.