Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Wonderful Effect of Time

Taking Time to React
After Mwai Kibaki became the third President of Kenya in December 2002, I couldn't help but notice just how different his leadership style was from former President Moi's. Kibaki let his ministers actually guide policy and manage their ministries, he stayed away from the public spotlight and best of all, he took time to react to issues. In delegating and letting those under him be, President Mwai Kibaki was diametrically the opposite of a micro-manager like Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

While these attributes may come across as being stand-offish and indifferent, even bordering on negligence, there is much to learn from especially the third one, thanks to the keyword TIME.

You see, I realized in early 2003 that if the President of an independent republic would be patient and tolerant enough to take time before reacting to every thing that he had a say in, then there must be something worthwhile in the wait.

As we grew up, we were all taught  and constantly reminded to breathe in and count to ten whenever someone pissed us off, to never speak or act in anger, and that patience pays. Let us look at the wonderful effect of time in our lives.

Time is a gift
One of my favorite bloggers reckons that time is a gift. And I agree. She says,
Our Saviour has granted us a lot of gifts and one of the best is time. There are things that you go through in life: some good, some bad but what they both have is common is time.
Time does have this effect in life that we can barely understand. The passage of time changes attitudes and perceptions, makes pain go away, allows us to understand and appreciate what we couldn't before... time changes everything. In fact, we all know that time heals wounds. Inasmuch as scars may remain to constantly remind us what exactly happened, the passage of time will heal both emotional, psychological and physical wounds.

Time, and lessons learnt
Looking back, I remember some things I have said or written at a time of crisis, only to regret it after some time. Lately, I have however harnessed the wisdom of waiting it out, and saying or doing nothing no matter how much I'm tempted to react. It takes a great deal of determination to NOT DO something when you really feel that you have a right to say or do something in return.

With time, you cool down and even more interestingly, you begin to look at the same situation you were aching to react to in an entirely different way. This is the time when you realize that it was wise to not react too quickly, you have nothing to regret and should you act now, it will only be because it is necessary and you are now much wiser to handle the consequences of your actions.

Think about instances in your life when you had to resist the near-overwhelming urge to react to something. How did you manage to hold on and deal with the situation much later? Was the decision to wait a wise one? Has this made you better placed to deal with future situations and decisions that demand patience and tolerance.

Do you currently have very strong feelings of dissent about someone or something? Do you feel wronged and offended? Are you considering giving as good as you got and avenging yourself?
Well, take time and hold out. Give yourself a definite time to wait until you can deal with the situation or the person. It will surprise you how different your feelings and attitude will change after the waiting period.

Don't eat the marshmallow, yet.
In other news, success is also heavily hinged on our ability to wait. In his famous and engaging 2009 TED Talk, Joachim de Posada still reminds you to not eat the marshmallow... yet.

Have a great day.


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