What My Strange Curtis Stone Dream Taught Me About Tenacity

Tenacity is an amazing quality to have - it can drive us to continue in work and life through times of frustration, overwhelm, even loss of faith. However, sometimes tenacity can also cloud our judgement and lead to push through something that is no longer right for us, or may just be the wrong time. Here's where patience comes in. Check out this post for more.

I woke up this morning to the sound of my alarm and with the memory of a strange dream still playing in my head ('strange dream' is a bit of an oxymoron, though, isn't it - after all, what dream isn't strange?). Although elements of the dream were strange, it had a really powerful message that I just had to share.

By the way, I totally know reading or hearing about other peoples' dreams can be a bit of a bore, so I'll try to be quick.

In this dream, I was by a river with a big group of others watching a parade of boats sail by. One boat had a demonstration of some kind of dancing and acrobatics, with one young woman as the star attraction. Just as she was about to perform some amazing flip, she lost her nerve and missed her opportunity.

Upset, she threw herself off the boat and onto a raft, and had a temper tantrum in frustration. All of a sudden, seeming to make up her mind, the young woman dove back in the river and started to swim back toward where the boat had been. By this stage it was raining really heavily and the water had become very rough and dangerous.

She looked so small and vulnerable swimming back down the churning river, when, from out of nowhere, dashing celebrity chef Curtis Stone launches a kayak onto the river to rescue her. (He may or may not have been shirtless for this rescue mission. Ok, he was. Thank you subconscious!)

Plucking her from the water, she was very angry at him and the vibe from crowd was mixed, with not everyone celebrating his heroics. From the banks of the river one onlooker cried out 'But it's her dream!' In other words, how could you stop her from living her dream?

In his infinite and ruggedly handsome wisdom, Curtis (who was now back on the banks of the river) gently turned to this onlooker and said: 'She doesn't have to give up on her dream just because now is not the right time. Don't mistake recklessness for tenacity.' (Click to Tweet)

Then my stupid alarm woke me up.

This dream got me thinking about my own tenacity as well as the importance of patience and acceptance when working on goals. What do I mean by tenacity? It’s about persistence and not giving up until a goal has been achieved. It’s a great quality to have, especially when you’re working toward creating something challenging.

But I know that, for me, it's so easy to enter into a now-or-never mindset when chasing my dreams. All too often the delicious and complete achievement of what I want can feel incredibly urgent because I want what I want so badly. My current situation can feel like a drag and surely I can't bear to live another day without getting what I want.

Is it the same for you?

Living on a treadmill of chasing, chasing, chasing rather than exercising a bit of patience short-changes us in a few ways:

  • We rob ourselves of the ability to enjoy the work and the process because we're always focused on what's next and what we don't have
  • It can lead us to compromise the quality of our work as we rush through to just get it done
  • It sets our minds to view happiness as something our future selves get to enjoy, and a state that can only to be achieved once xyz has been accomplished
  • Linking our happiness so intrinsically to the achievement of goals puts our mind anywhere but where we are right now, yet more often than not, there's a whole heck of a lot to be grateful for in the present

I see this message about patience (delivered care of dream Curtis Stone) as showing up for me at just the right time. I have a few big goals on the go at present - life and work dreams - and I've been working so hard to try to make these happen that, upon reflection, I suppose I'm almost trying to force things into being. I know I do this, yet I keep falling into the same pattern over and over. I call it 'maniforcing' (as opposed to 'manifesting') as there's so much pushing and shoving and hunger involved try to make something happen, rather than letting go a bit and allowing things to flow and just be.

Not only is this state super uncomfortable, but it also just doesn't work. I might get some things done, and I feel like I must be achieving something as I'm so busy and pretty much constantly overwhelmed, but in reality I have a hunch I'm a living example of the analogy of shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

Like the young woman in my dream, am I confusing recklessness with tenacity? I'm proud of my tenacity and it has led me to pursue many things that I dream of, even after years of things not coming to pass. I'm simply just not going to give up on my beautiful dreams as the alternative is too horrid. End of story. Although I'm not an especially wilful person, I am pretty freaking determined to get what I want. Not in a Veruca Salt, I-want-it-now-Daddy kind of way, but more that I can feel what the realisation of my dreams will be like and it is all too lovely to ever abandon.

So where does patience come in?

True patience comes from accepting that things will not necessarily happen when you want them to happen, no matter how hard you push. (Click to Tweet)

This is different than being patient because you have to. Like 'things are taking longer than I want - oh well, I'll just have to be patient.' Instead, true patience is accepting upfront that things may (and probably will) take a whole lot longer than you'd like and being ok with that. It's about changing the way you go about achievement. It's about using your tenacity for good, instead of evil.

Ok, so 'evil' is probably a bit strong, but I think you get the message. Tenacity, without patience and reason, can be like a runaway train that feels like it's headed somewhere but in reality you have little control over your destination. And without control, you'll likely end up somewhere different from where you wanted to go in the first place.

So how do any of us harness the brilliance of tenacity, without being burnt by its fiery power? How can we be driven and persistent but not lose our minds in the process? How do you know when to be patient and when to forge ahead? I'm so glad you asked! My friend, I've got you covered. Not only have I prepared some of my best tips, but I've put them in this sweet download for you. Click the button below to get your hands on it:

Now that you've accessed these tips, I'd love to hear more about how tenacity shows up in your life. Does tenacity come naturally to you? Or is more of a cultivated habit? Have you been burnt out from driving yourself too hard?