Patience With Ambition

I was driving yesterday listening to The Lively Show podcast, and she was interviewing Gary Vaynerchuk – a successful entrepreneur and writer. At the end of the interview, like Jess always does, she asked, “What would you say to someone just starting out on this journey?” And he said “Be patient with your ambition.”

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Being patient with my ambition is something that has never really occurred to me. Especially now, as I’ve decided to stay home with my kids and not pursue traditional success, I’m not finding myself being very patient with my ambition. I find myself worried I’m missing out, that everyone else is getting ahead, that I need to do something NOW so that I don’t lose the ability or the idea. I don’t think that’s the prominent cultural message about ambition, either. I think the cultural ideal is to make a buck, and not lose any time wasting it on extraneous, non-efficient ideals like a quiet life at home with children.I’m letting this idea seep in. I think I do need to be patient with my ambition. The time is not quite right.

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This morning I was about make some cookies I’ve been excited to try. Right as I was getting everything out, my daughter woke up from an extra short nap – I had been planning another hour of her sleeping. I let her cry for a few minutes to see if she would go back to sleep, but it started becoming one of those cries where you know they’re awake and they’re mad.  I thought I’d just get one more thing done. It’s in those moments, where our children thwart our agendas, where it is hard to be patient with our ambition – whether to make cookies, or start a business, or anything you feel you’re being held back from. I finally went in to pick her up, and she immediately calmed down and eased into my chest. She ran her chubby eight month old fingers through my hair and sighed, just happy I had come to be with her. I was struck by the moment – for all my plans, for all the things I think I want to be doing, it’s really this. This is what I really want and where I am so so happy.

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