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Testy Horses and the Art of Speed Waiting

"What are you waiting for?" said Nelson, looking at me impatiently. "Well? Go on. Get saddled up!"

I was eighteen years old and had just entered my first rodeo. However, the horse I expected to ride in a roping competition had taken ill. The one I was about to ride instead had an "attitude". He was known to become testy when his riders least expected it.

The seconds crawled as I stared at this beautiful and very spirited animal. "New horse. No time to make friends with him." It was a memorable lesson that procrastination isn't always an option. During the years to follow, I would learn that life is sometimes as unpredictable as a testy horse. Often, there isn'tany backing out at the last minute.

Comedian Steven Wright once quipped, "I took a course in speed waiting. Now I can wait an hour in only ten minutes."

If only it were that simple when moving into unfamiliar terrain. Hesitation feels safer than stepping forward and taking risks for a dream. Yet waiting could be a greater risk. It only takes an instant to take a leap of faith, and only an instant for time to run out.

Here are some good questions to ponder:

Exactly what is it you are waiting for, and what are you doing while you wait? If it is something that requires patience, what makes the wait worthwhile? Ten minutes can seem like ten hours if your heart isn't in what you are doing.

I view Steven's "speed waiting" as more than a clever phrase. It is an art we can learn. We "speed wait" when we savor the small victories along the journey to our dreams. We "speed wait" when we pass our time with actions that uplift us and nurture the quality of life for others. When we are living from our soul, the hours melt into seamless moments of satisfaction.

At first, I had no idea what I would type into this little article. Then I read the following quotes at the top of the ezine issue I was working on:"Do not wait for a ray of ambition to guide you to your dreams. You will get there much sooner, and the light will be much brighter if you start today." - Michelle C. Ustaszeski

"Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down dayafter day to the job in hand with as much regularity asan accountant settles down each day to his figures.They didn't waste time waiting for inspiration." - Ernest Newman (1868 - 1959)

"How much of human life is lost in waiting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)I thought about Steven's intriguing course of study and remembered climbing onto that testy horse.

I recalled how the hours seem to fly when I'm doing work that I love. Then I thought, "What are you waiting for?" And in ten minutes, the waiting was over!

So, what are you waiting for? Try the art of "speed waiting" today, and enjoy every moment of the wait!

Copyright 2005 by Steve Brunkhorst. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Achieve! 60-Second Nuggets of Inspiration bringing great stories, motivational nuggets, and inspiring thoughts to help you achieve your top potential. Get the next issue by visiting


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