Be Patient—and Impatient

Too often, we get stuck in the mud, or we take action for action's sake. It's all about balance.

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Curt Rosengren
If you're feeling the itch to change careers, you're probably ready for it to happen, ohhhhh, like, yesterday. While that impatience can be a great source of motivation, by itself it can also get in your way.

Making substantial, sustainable change takes both impatience and patience. It's about combining the urge for immediate action with the awareness that it's a long-term investment that unfolds over time.

As much as we might wish that we could wave a magic wand and change careers overnight, the reality is that for most people career change is a process. Succumbing to impatience often leads to action for action's sake, without a stop to take stock of what you really want and why. The activity feels good, but it's not necessarily leading you where you want to go. Too often, the result is a leap out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Similarly, too much patience by itself can keep you stuck. How many times have you found yourself planning, and preparing, and researching, and waiting, and—well, you get the idea. Impatience is the bur under your saddle that makes you want to move.

Keep asking yourself, "Is it time to take action, or is it time to step back and take the big view?" Taken together, impatience and patience are a dynamic duo. Impatience creates a sense of urgency that fuels your forward motion, while the long-term focus on patience controls that sense of urgency so it doesn't become the tail that wags the dog.

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.