Carlin used to do a brilliant comedy routine about hair.
He would complain about guys who shaved their heads completely bald. They were so ashamed that they lost eleven hairs that they tried to transform their look into some kind of masculine statement.
Shaving your head is ugly and repulsive and disgusting. If you really want to have no hair, do what I did. Wait a while. In the meantime, there’s no excuse for running around looking like a freshly circumcised dick.
It’s a perfect metaphor for a much larger human problem, which is our inability to delay gratification. Because we have this insatiable need to get better and stronger and smarter and more mature, right now.
Time’s a wasting. Better employ every new life hack and force multiplier available so we can speed up the process of growth.
But the reality is, not everything can be rushed. As the saying goes, nine women can’t have a baby in a month.
Sometimes the way to improve our situation is to just wait it out.
There’s a writer that I’ve been mentoring for several years that loves to ask me about which practices and tricks and tools have made me a better writer. And although there are usually recommendations that I can offer, the best suggestion is to echo the words of my comedian hero.
Wait a while.
Keep showing up every day, trust the creative process to do its thing according to its own clock, and eventually you’ll wake up and realize that you’re better than you used to be.
It’s not a very satisfying answer, but there are no shortcuts to meaningful change. The greatest path to grow is not going away.
Lincoln said it best:
Time is a great thickener of things.
If you want to lose your hair, don’t shave your head. Wait a while.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you still get outraged when you can’t impose your own time frame on growth?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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