There was a video circulating on social media showing a child opening “the only present he wanted for Christmas.” My heart sank as I wondered why the gift wasn’t saved to create a joyous Christmas morning when the surprise and wonder could await under the tree.

It used to be that Christmas presents weren’t opened until December 25 and the clearance sales began on December 26. There were many years that we set out in Black-Friday-Style shopping mode on the day after Christmas to capitalize on the half-price decorations or cards, but now items are at that price a full week before the holiday and gifts are given early as well.

What happened to the value of waiting?

Convenience has stripped a generation of its ability to be patient. No one wants to wait for anything anymore and I fear that the accelerated timetable of just about everything condenses the emotion and obliterates the joy that comes when anticipation is fulfilled. We want everything now and have lost the ability to defer gratification and come to a crescendo.

As you ponder your New Year’s Resolutions, consider including “waiting” on your list. Waiting to speak up so you truly listen to what others say. Waiting before jumping in to fix a problem before someone has the opportunity to problem solve for themselves. Waiting to eat that cookie after dinner until you determine you are truly still hungry. Waiting to spend money until you see if the impulse passes.

Ignore all the impulses of this season and get great at the wait. Patience is a gift that keeps giving.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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