We’ve all heard many so-called keys to success. Some say hard work, others say discipline, and others will even say luck. The reality is that success is always the result of multiple things coming together in such a way that each component is critical, but not exclusively responsible for that success.
While many will argue over which is the most important component to success, I want to share what I believe is the most underappreciated, undervalued, and forgotten key to success… time. In this day and age, we want everything right now. We expect to get what we want immediately. We are consumed with faster internet, drive-thru anything, and the Buy now with 1-Click mentality. Our patience is waning… but it’s doing so at a price.
This lack of patience is nowhere more notable, yet most critical, than health and healing. Having spent my whole career in this field, and caring for thousands of patients, I can say time is an absolute necessity for optimal healing and overall health. The quick-fix mentality has led people to rely on dangerous medicines, jump into risky surgeries, and spend tons of money on gimmicky products, services, and therapies.
The human body is incredible. It spends every second of every day on one thing… staying well. By the time you know there is a problem or are experiencing symptoms, the underlying cause has likely been brewing for some time, often many, many years. Even weight gain, often occurring at a couple of pounds per year over twenty to thirty years, adding up to that thirty, fifty, or even more extra pounds you might be carrying around, doesn’t pile on overnight. So why is it that we expect this weight to come off in thirty days or our health to rebound overnight? Why is it that we get frustrated, angry, and even give up after just days or
even weeks of effort?
When you drive by a new neighborhood and watch as houses go up in just a few days, how well built do you think these houses are? When you watch these Bachelor and Bachelorette shows and see people getting married after just weeks together, how strong do you think these relationships really are? And when you hear about a weight-loss program promising thirty pounds of weight loss in thirty days, how long do you think that weight will stay off?
I want to encourage you to start thinking rationally. Know that all really great things take time. There are natural laws at work that demand time to be part of the equation. Great relationships are built over time. Great fortunes are built over time. Great bodies and health are built over time. There are no quick-fixes, magic bullets, or get-rich-quick schemes that are worth your attention. My mother always said (and yours probably did too), “If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is!”
No farmer would ever expect to plant seeds and reap a harvest a week later. No matter how much water, sunlight, or nutrients that farmer can muster up, there is a natural process that requires time.
Doing the right things is essential to success, but doing those things over time is critical. Set a goal, make a plan, do the work, and expect to be successful… but make sure to allow for the one thing that is absolutely essential… time. It’s the one thing most of us forget. All great things require time!