How often do you find yourself waiting for success?

Today is July 25 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you find yourself waiting for success?” If you are waiting, why? German-American billionaire and co-founder of PayPal Peter Thiel is quoted as asking “How can you achieve your 10 year plan in the next 6 months?” Now those who navigate the chaos often ask themselves this question and understand full well that achieving their 10 year plan in six months might not be possible but they try to anyway in order to see how far they can travel down their path.

Generally, if you attempt this strategy you will often find yourself much further along than you thought possible. The option is to wait for success. You have the option of course, to go stand out on the sidewalk and wait for the success bus to drive by and stop by your door. Waiting for success is a strategy available to you. Those who navigate the chaos, however, seldom wait.

Navigating the chaos requires a basic understanding of time. Let’s calculate the amount of potential time available during an average month.

Most months have 720 hours (30 days X 24 hours). If you slept 8 hours per day (8 hours X 30 days = 240 hours), you’d have 480 hours left.

If you worked 40 hours per week (40 hours X 4 weeks = 160 hours), you’d have 320 hours left. If you spend 2 hours eating per day (2 hours X 30 days = 60 hours), you’d have 280 hours left.

So, the question is, what are you doing with those 280 hours? Let’s say you need another 80 hours to do other chores, care for loved ones, and travel to and from work. Now the monthly time is at 200 hours.

200 hours X 12 months = 2,400 hours. This begs the question, what are you doing with those 200 hours each month, or the 2,400 hours throughout the year?

For those who need an even more conservative estimate of time let us use 100 hours x 12 months or 1,200 hours for the year. That is still a good deal of time for you to navigate the chaos. Are you spending your time waiting or are you actively translating your dreams into reality?

American comedian Jonathan Winters once said “I couldn't wait for success, so I went ahead without it.” Successful people who navigate the chaos like Winters understand that forward progress is far better than standing still.

Born in 1925 Winters quit high school at 17 and joined the Marines. After serving two and half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II he returned home to Ohio. His career began as a result of a lost wristwatch, about six or seven months after his marriage to Eileen Schauder on September 11, 1948. The newlyweds could not afford to buy another one. Then Eileen read about a talent contest in which the first prize was a wristwatch and encouraged Jonathan to “go down and win it.”

She was certain he could…and he did. His performance led to a disc jockey job, where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature. Gradually his ad libs, personas and antics took over the show. He performed in Columbus, Ohio for two and a half years, quitting his job at a television station in 1953 when they refused him a $5.00 raise.

After promising his wife that he would return to Ohio if he did not make it in a year and with $56.46 in his pocket, he moved to New York City. After obtaining an agent he began stand-up routines in various nightclubs. His big break occurred when he worked for Alistair Cooke on the CBS Sunday morning show Omnibus. During this time Winters suffered a nervous breakdown, was eventually diagnosed with manic depression (bipolar disorder today) and spent 8 months in a private mental hospital.

Over time Winters learned to manage his condition and he went on to record many albums and appear in dozens of movies and television appearances. Winters did not wait for success and instead went out and despite his mental health issues still found a way to move ahead without success.

Are you waiting for success? Or are you moving forward without it?