Patience – In Under 11 Seconds

Approximate writing time: four hours. Approximate reading time: less than two minutes.

I spotted someone expressing frustration at having to wait around yesterday, and this got me thinking…

Everyone’s in a hurry, right? Whatever it is, you need it now, if not sooner. I know the feeling. Hate to wait, hate to wait, hate to wait.

I managed to find the time to watch and enjoy the women’s Commonwealth Games 100 metres sprint final on TV a couple of nights ago. The race was won by Blessing Okagbare in a new Commonwealth record of just 10.85 seconds. Blink and you miss it.

In her post race interview, Okagbare was asked how this Commonwealth experience compared to the London 2012 Olympics, when she blew everyone away in the heats, then faded to 8th place in the final. What had she done differently this time? I was not expecting her one word answer.


Patience was the thing she had learned and applied, in order to progress from 8th place in the 2012 final, to 1st place in the 2014 race. Somehow, over 10.85 seconds, Okagbare found the patience to win.

The problem that’s facing you right now, what’s stopping you from progressing it?

Can you identify it?
Can you do anything about it?
Is the rush you are in, stopping you from seeing your goal?

I know you’re in a hurry, you get frustrated when things don’t happen quick enough. Me too. And if, over just 10.85 seconds, Blessing Okagbare can find the patience to win, then surely you and I can find the patience to stop and think about how we make our work better, somewhere in the day? 

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

4 thoughts on “Patience – In Under 11 Seconds”

  1. Doug, spot on! I often think that if we could all just practice what my dad does…count to five or ten…we’d all make better decisions, we’d all communicate a bit better, we’d all have the ability to salvage what we are about to destroy when we act too quickly.

    I also worry about what we miss when we aren’t patient. As a matter of fact, I wrote about that in this post:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Doug, it was well worth the seconds to read! 🙂

    1. Hi Heather – thanks ever so much for sharing your post and your ideas. Joe Gerstandt and I are running the pre conference workshop at ILSHRM today – and we have decided that a slow start, an opportunity to reflect, as individuals and then together – will help get our adventures off to a useful start.

      Cheers – Doug

  2. I think the workplace needs this stuff. Even just 1 minutes of getting re-centered before an important presentation can help tremendously. Or how about 3 minutes of getting a verbal acknowledgement of where everyone is at in their energy at the start of an hour long meeting – why do we skip these vital moments? O.o

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