What Are You Waiting For?

I was commiserating with a colleague the other week about her inability to leave her frustrating job. She has spent two years trying to get her management team to understand the importance of content and the reasons that they should manage and optimize their content better. Finally, she said, “What am I waiting for?”

It was a rhetorical question. I suggested that she turn it into a real question: What was she waiting for? She said that she was waiting for a signal that her efforts were going to succeed. But was that what she was waiting for?

Along this journey we call life, we all come across rocks. Things we have to deal with. We have to stop, look at each rock, and make a choice: Do we move it? Go around it? Take a new path? Or stay where we are and wait? If we wait, what are we waiting for? The right job to come along? The right idea? The right man or woman?

Whatever rock is in front of you, keeping you in wait mode, it’s tempting to say to yourself, “When I get past this, I can start living the life I want.” Guess what? More rocks lie ahead. Life is full of wait times. You don’t want to spend all those times yearning for what comes next, meanwhile missing the beauty of the where you are.

The future you’re waiting for directly reflects your past – including all the routes you’ve taken AND the wait times along the way. So when you find yourself impatient, ready to stop waiting and take action, pause. Consider what you’re waiting for. Waiting can be cool. As long as you live while you wait. As the famous philosopher Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while. You could miss it.”

As for my friend, she realized that she wasn’t waiting for some signal of progress with her managers. She was waiting for a more challenging and interesting job to come along. She didn’t need to stay behind that same rock any more. She was ready to move on.

What rock are you stuck behind? Is it time to get it out of your way? Move around it? Or does it make sense to hang out there and wait? If you choose to wait, keep in mind that your real life – the one that you’re waiting for – is already here.

What are you waiting for?

Robert Rose
Chief Strategy Officer at The Content Advisory
As the Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the exclusive education and consulting group of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert develops content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, McCormick Spices, Capital One, and UPS.

Robert’s book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing was called “a call to arms and a self-help guide for creating the experiences that consumers will fall in love with.” For the last three years, he’s co-hosted the podcast This Old Marketing, with Joe Pulizzi. It’s frequently a top 20 marketing podcast on iTunes and is downloaded more than a million times every year, in 100 countries around the world.
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Author: Robert Rose
As the Chief Strategy Officer of The Content Advisory, the exclusive education and consulting group of The Content Marketing Institute, Robert develops content and customer experience strategies for large enterprises such as The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Oracle, McCormick Spices, Capital One, and UPS. Robert’s book, Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing was called “a call to arms and a self-help guide for creating the experiences that consumers will fall in love with.” For the last three years, he’s co-hosted the podcast This Old Marketing, with Joe Pulizzi. It’s frequently a top 20 marketing podcast on iTunes and is downloaded more than a million times every year, in 100 countries around the world.