Until a few years ago, I believed being patient was for losers; winners made their own way. The proverb, “where there is a will, there is a way” had me convinced that—if I wanted something bad enough—I had to rely on my willpower to make things happen exactly as I wanted and in my timing. From my vantage point, this is what successful people did, they made things happen, obstacles be damned.

Was I ever wrong! The fact is you will beat your head against the wall in life until you decide to work at the speed the universe gives you.

We don’t really know what we want

We should not take this “will” proverb at face value; it needs further explanation. Can we will ourselves to make what we want to happen?  Does this apply when we chase goals others thought up for us? I don’t imagine so; we cannot manufacture the passion to pursue and accomplish something not really meant for us. We have the free will to try, but the Universe will stand by as you beat your head against the wall until you run out of energy to keep doing so. If you are persistent enough, you may accomplish the thing you thought you wanted, but you will soon discover it does not make you happy.

There was a time I was certain I could will accomplishments I desired, but looking back, I was misguidedly settling for the external goals other people were dictating. This was never good for me. What I didn’t realize then was that I had developed a misguided attachment to the values of others. Lacking my true definition, I often settled for things that looked like they were what I wanted but they were never attached to my heart.

Uncooperative with the Universe

One of my favorite pastimes has been to bang my head against a closed door. I don’t know exactly how or why I picked up this bad habit, but it has been part of my human condition for a long time. The myriad bumps on my head taught me one thing,

“The doors that remained closed were never meant for me to open in the first place.”

As long as I kept trying, the Universe could only stand until I realized opening those doors was not in the cards for me.

All possibilities were not meant for us

We were never destined to be everything. There are things not meant for all of us to achieve, like being a professional athlete, president of a country or a great singer. Therefore, it is so important to let go of the external pressures to be something others want us to be and discover our true passions.

To work with the Universe, we must first define the purposes for which we feel passionate about. This passion is essential to fuel the will to develop the needed skills and get the corresponding knowledge. We can then embark on our journey by exercising the actions we control and having faith things will happen in their own perfect timing.

The pace of the Universe 

Going at the speed the Universe means there will be no set formula or established timetable to follow. The Universe will not work with our wishful thoughts, it will await our serious effort before conspiring with us. Hints and opportunities will come along the way, but doors will not open until we overcome our fear of being uncomfortable and risk our way onto the new path. .

The following line from William Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, speaks to this last point;  

There is a tide in the affairs of men (and women). Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life. Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

Just like choosing to beat my head against a closed door is an error, so too is avoiding the openings the Universe gives you. In doing so, we will wallow in our misery until the pain from staying safe becomes greater than the fear of taking a risk.

Working at the speed of the Universe is a lifelong pursuit. This may not sound very satisfying now, but it will be is much more satisfying than experiencing the anger and frustration that come from trying to force your own way.

Remember, paying gratitude forward will enrich your life!

Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash