Recently we were at a state beach in Petoskey, Michigan, famous for stones with a unique pattern of fossilized coral called “Petoskey Stones.” As you hunt for these patterned stones, you have to sort through hundreds of other rocks.
Some are rather plain, and some are unique; green, orange, and subtly purple. But they all are very smooth.
These rocks didn’t start smooth. Many were probably huge, jagged remnants of ancient terrestrial history. Nonetheless, here they sit, being tumbled in the constancy of the waves and smoothed by the grit of the sand.
Their size shrinks as the sand multiplies itself by shearing material from every rock and stone – the sharp edges are the first to go because they stick out into the world the furthest. Eventually, we walk by and pick them up to admire their fascinating shapes and colors and smooth shapes.
We have a lot of sayings for this in our culture; “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” “Slow and steady wins the race,” or “Little strokes fell great oaks.” Like the stones, it remains true. The “overnight success” is essentially a myth.
What sharp edges do you have sticking out into the world? What are you learning? How can you increase your patience in the process of being smoothed?
Good work takes time. Be patient in the process.