Toil and Patience

The name Golden Bristle was inspired by more than a glorious, mythical boar. I stumbled upon Gullenbursti through his caretaker, Freyr, the Norse god of harvest. The harvest has special meaning for me. The symbol on my right wrist is the runic mark of harvest.

It reminds me that we reap what we sow.

It’s carried another meaning, as well, that only recently did I realize has had a profound impact on how I live my life. The harvest has also represented the fruits/spoils of toil and patience. It’s the reward after hard, hard work and waiting.

For years, that meaning had a tremendously positive influence on me, especially in a time when patience seems to be at an all-time low. The willingness to strive and push without expecting immediate returns has served me well.

The unintended consequence is that it’s also kept me chasing something out in the future — the reward that will come at some point once I’ve worked hard enough, been patient long enough. One amazing, bountiful harvest to rule them all. You might have already noticed that sounds like a rigged game, one that I can never win. You’d be right. And I’m just seeing it for the first time.

Starting today, I’m playing a new game instead. One inspired by my mythical boar. It was said that wherever he went, flowers bloomed and the sun shone. He was a walking harvest, literally creating abundance every step he took.

That requires patience — love and compassion, to be with flowers as they’re blooming, to not rush them — without putting success off into the future. It requires work — the willingness to be the one who can make the sun shine around him, no matter what others say or think — without making things harder than they really are. (I stopped to cry as I wrote that part. That’s edgy for me.)

Most importantly, it’s the game I want to model to others around me. To the men in my group on the verge of burnout because they know how to achieve only by grinding every day. To the leaders I coach who desire to create freedom and ease in their lives, without constantly putting external success in the way. To my family and friends and future children, who are in a world that tells them that happiness is around the next corner, forever. To you.