Waiting

September 9, 2012

One of the hardest things to do is to wait. In all its forms. Waiting at the dentist's office. Waiting in traffic. Waiting outside the restaurant for your name to be called.

But waiting goes beyond those things that are ten minutes, or an hour, away. It's also things like waiting for the weekend to come, or waiting for that vacation, or waiting for that holiday. Days, weeks, even months. You can even see this in years, for that promotion, for that graduation, for that wedding. You're waiting for a million things, all the time.

There's one that's worse than the others. Waiting for movies. That movie that you heard was being filmed last summer, is in post production now, and will be out in a year and a half. The movie that the actors have been sworn to secrecy to, the one where people write endless amounts of speculation about, the one where you watch the trailers a thousand times, building your anticipation over and over.

Movie trailers are dangling something in front of you and telling you to imagine what the whole thing might be like, a year from now. Ouch.

And if you think about it, that's insane, to wait two, three, four years for something that only lasts a couple hours. Of course you're not thinking about it every second for those four years, but when the thought does arise, all you can think about is how you wish time could fast forward to that day. So is two, maybe two and half hours of glorious filmmaking, worth the pain of waiting?

Yes. Two hours is more than enough to change your life. To show you something that hundreds, maybe thousands have poured years of their lives into. So yeah, maybe what you're watching is two hours, but you're seeing work that goes all the way back to the beginning, when you decided to join everyone in the anticipation of this thing being made. And that is wonderful.

Besides, think of all the people who wait for you. You do work that someone is waiting for, whether it be your customers, your coworkers, your boss, or all of them. They trust you, just like you trust that director to deliver an amazing movie, and you don't complain. You wait. And you prepare to be blown away, and he delivers. You gladly pay the price for it, and you're pretty much hooked for the next one, however long down the road it is. So do the same with your good work. Know someone is waiting, in pain with wait, so to make up for that pain, and to thank them for their trust in deciding to wait for you, blow them away.

There are two ways for you to start waiting for a movie. The first is if you already know and love a part of the thing being made. So one of your favorite directors might be making a new movie, or one of your favorite actors is starring in it, or maybe you've read the book or know the story. It's something with a previous track record with you and you can invest your trust in it at the very beginning.

The second way is when you get the first glimpse at something you never knew existed, or one you didn't quite understand. This is usually when you see a trailer for a movie that looks really good. Suddenly, out of nowhere, from just a taste, you can't wait for the whole thing.

And there are some variations on the two above. The first is if the director you love, or the actress you always watch, is making a movie and you missed hearing about it or they were making it in secret and you had no idea until you somehow heard or read about it. That makes the waiting less painful and the first impression even more exciting, knowing that something is already so far along the way. The second is that movie you can't wait to watch from the very beginning stages, and when you get to that first glimpse, you just ratchet the anticipation higher than anything. This is the highest level of wanting to watch something you're waiting for that you can get. It's awesome. And this is what you can get people to feel too.

Think about your good work. Get people hooked. Slowly and surely, you'll have more people following you and talking to you and copying you and loving you and stealing from you, all good and bad things that you can tell is a result of you getting better, through gritty hard work, which is what we all want right? To know at the end of the day that we did good, hard work. And because of that, we emerge as someone who makes people wait in that first form of anticipation. The one where people know you are awesome and can't wait to see what you come up with next. The one where you have more choices, and more opportunities. The one you know you earned.