When three large men lifted me off the ground and tried to shove me into a Land Rover, it was time to kill my business.
I had started a social enterprise in Zambia six months earlier with a simple mission of bringing solar lighting to the half a billion Africans that have no electricity. But expenses were triple and just sales half of projections, which cut our runway down to a driveway. Nearly being kidnapped was the last straw.
I booked the first flight home. Within a month, our remaining inventory was stolen and the company truck seized. From 8,000 miles away, there was little I could do but accept defeat. The business had given me purpose. I planned to dedicate my life to it for at least the next five years. Now I had a continent-sized void in my calendar.
I was in ... The Waiting Place.
Seven Patient Mindsets
Life doesn't give many guarantees, but here's one: You will face setbacks and get stuck.
Maybe a drunk pizza delivery driver will run you over with a Smart Car on a Wednesday afternoon as happened to my neighbor last year. (He's almost fully recovered.) Maybe you'll be shopping for wedding rings while your girlfriend is shopping for an apartment with her new boyfriend. (That one stung, but 13 years later I see it led me to my wife.)
Whichever way the blow strikes, you always have two options. You can battle fate and add layers of anxiety to a problem, or you can patiently pick apart the obstacle and use it as kindling to restart the fire of your life.
In low seasons, while you sit in the waiting room of life, patience is a superpower. But by adopt these seven mindsets, you can run circles around life's challenges.
1 ACCEPT WHERE YOU ARE
"Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune."
Rob Bell started one of the fastest growing churches in America, penned a New York Times best-seller, and was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people.
When Hollywood offered him a TV show, he leapt.
Despite his church success, Rob felt it was time to move on, and prepared to shoot his TV show. But soon, Hollywood stopped returning his calls and overnight Rob fell out of the limelight and into idleness.
Welcome to The Waiting Place, Rob. Pull up a chair; this'll take a while.
He had cleared his calendar for 12 months, and then suddenly had no reason to get up in the morning. He could have freaked out. He could have started flailing and railing and blaming. Nobody would fault him--he'd traded 100 productive hours a week for a broken promise.
But Rob's wisdom is legendary. He knew that failing to accept his situation would make for a...