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We love passing on the stories that we hear, particularly those – like all the best fairy tales we enjoyed as children (!) – which have a moral at the end. 
 
Are you sitting comfortably? Then here we go. 
 
A travel writer was on assignment in Hawaii and taken to meet a local dancer who does the traditional – and ancient – Hula dance. Not, as you’d expect, a young girl but an older lady. A much older lady. 
 
She begins with a demonstration. The music begins and she starts to move. Her hips swivel in a spiral. Her slender hands move in a wave. She beams with pleasure. And, as with all true experts, makes it look effortless. 
 
So the obvious question is asked. 
 
How long did it take for her to master the dance?  
 
A few weeks, perhaps. A month. A year. 
 
 
She smiles and says that she’s been learning how to do it for as long as she can remember. The time doesn’t matter, she says, it takes as long as it takes. 
 
So how long is that? 
 
She stops and thinks before saying that it must be at least 50 years but she hasn’t finished learning yet. 
 
We live in a world that expects everything NOW. If not before. 
 
We expect instant replies to our e mails, texts or latest posting on social media. We set ambitious “to do” lists – or even goals (!) – and expect them to be achieved instantly with little effort on our part. When they take longer we become despondent and, all too easily, give up. 
 
In the process we forget that it’s not the end result that gives us most pleasure but the process of getting there. The journey. The twists and turns along the way. The things we learnt. The skills we perfected. The stories we have to tell of all the times it didn’t quite go to plan. Or went horribly wrong, often with hilarious – and unforeseen – consequences. 
 
Behind every skill we’ve ever learnt – from the first steps as a small child – are hundreds of hours of effort and practice. Not to mention sore muscles, bruised egos, disastrous attempts, doubt, frustration and sheer determination to keep going. But, in the end, we got there. And it felt great when we did! 
 
So, rather than focussing on the end result, let’s bring our focus back to the journey. And enjoy it all. The highs and lows. The twists and turns along the way. 
 
And, ironically, as soon as we do this the journey becomes so much easier and quicker. Why? Because we’ve stopped trying to force it to happen in the way we think it should NOW!!! 
 
Rather than assuming we know best – and there is only one way things can happen – we allow unseen forces to come to our aid. Perhaps that sore knee, bruised ego or doubt is just what we needed to make things happen a little further down the road. Or, perhaps, they allowed a completely unforeseen solution to appear. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 
 
It takes as long as it takes. 
 
As always, the choice is yours. 
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