"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.
Great stuff as usual Sebastian. One thing I wanted to share is using waiting as an exercise. For a period of time I experimented with waiting when I could have gone straight to the goal. This seemed to result in a number of positive changes:
* I am less luckily to rush in a solution
* I cope better with times when waiting is the only thing you can do
* It has, at least in part, altered my perception of needs and wants.
The point I'm trying to make is how we perceive time we spend waiting. I do agree that there is a difference between macro in micro waiting and I certainly try to avoid wasting time, which is what generally happens when you wait in a queue. But then I wonder about what seems to be the association we make between waiting and wasting time as opposed to rushing and being efficient. Latter seems as detrimental and yet not perceived as badly. In a society that seems to be just going faster and faster, waiting seems to be a good exercise if done consciously.
Personally, I liked how you looked with the bald head. But maybe that was just due to the big smile you were wearing in that picture, and you look cute with whatever hair length you have. :-)
Life is funny.
About 36 hours ago, I wrote "Steel on the Inside, Silk on the Outside."
I think most guys are afraid to do this – to wear light colors, to go to a spa, to being silly and lighthearted, these traditionally feminine things. I think most guys go out of their way to appear tough, rugged, macho. And you know why? I think it’s because most of ‘em are soft on the inside, scared, powerless, aimless.
My philosophy is be as strong as steel on the inside, and light and gentle like silk on the outside.
Ah, you there, my Type-A friend. I'm glad you came today. Come in. What would you like? We've got coffees, teas, or clear still water perhaps? No juices at the moment, I'm afraid, I'm not having carbohydrates and it'd be fiddling with the devil to buy juice and then attempt not to drink it. The coffee is good, though, yes?
One moment. I'd like to light the fireplace. Maybe it's technically Spring, but this "Spring" in West Germany is chilly and cold and damp and grey, right down into the bones. But pardon me, I'm near veering into complaint, which is the exact opposite of the place I want to go. I'd much rather pull up by the warm fire's glow with non-carbohydrate beverage-of-choice and muse a little about philosophy and psychology with you -- and maybe it'll even be productive for us?
Ah, the warmth is nice.