Although the sniper waits for hours and days on end, perhaps in extreme circumstances only gaining a few feet per day, he knows that eventually, the proper conditions will arise to be taken advantage of.
Can this approach be used in life? I think so. In general, I think people do not have the kind of patience they need to get what they want in life, and they mistakenly replace patience with extra drive. Alas, however, the sniper would not function if he were to simply rush at his target head-on with little or no observation of his surroundings, strategic thinking, and infinite patience.
In this way, the sniper expends virtually no effort and still gets the perfect result. The biggest hardship is boredom itself--the ability to sit and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait...........
So yes, I do think that this is an excellent approach to life. I have made a conscious effort to apply it in 2013, and it is starting to go better and better for me. Basically my approach is to only act when there is certainty. For instance, I knew for a long time that I wasn't sure about continuing with my job, but I didn't ever really go out on a limb when I did it. I just woke up one morning and I knew it was time, and I acted immediately, and within 1 week I never saw any of those people again.
I've taken the same approach with a love interest of mine. In the past, I would have tried to win her affection the head-on way as described above. Lots of direct efforts, needing to see progress all the time, etc. Now, I wait... until I know it is time to move. This is very very difficult and slow, but I can't help getting the sense that it is right. As of last night, I had waited for this girl to call me again for 4 miserable weeks. I truly went insane, mentally, wanting to contact her and tell her my feelings, but in my gut, I knew it wasn't time. Finally last night she called and invited me over to her place, and I knew the correct opportunity had finally come upon me.
Sometimes you just have to put your faith in other people or the universe itself to work in your favor. A lot of people I know seem to just think they have to take on everything themselves, especially when they have someone they are interested in. It is never going to work, though, to have 1 party do all the seducing.
Anyway, the funny part of the story is that I went over there, she was looking really beautiful and I was tempted as hell to do something about it, but again in my gut I didn't feel the right feeling, and I just sat next to her as we watched this movie that I found rather boring, but maybe that's just because I had her on my mind. I started to shut my eyes and she got all pissed and said I couldn't go to sleep, I said the movie was boring, she said I had to go, and I left with no objection.
Am I discouraged? No. The sniper must wait. Conditions evolve. Circumstances change. Thoughts and feelings are developing in both of our minds... I know I was frustrated as hell when I got home, and I have got to wonder if she felt the same. I honestly think she would have denied me if I had made a move on her last night, but I also think that she expected me to make a move and was surprised and devalidated that I didn't. Tension builds... is it not a key ingredient in lasting romance? Like I said above, I intend to do this right. I wouldn't want to kill the goose that lays the golden egg and try to force something when the moment isn't right and then have it be awkward and fall apart later on. I'm willing to have the patience it takes to let tension build and the depth of the relationship grow, and then if things do happen, they will be built on a much stronger foundation.
And then again, the truth of the situation was that even though I was tempted by her physical beauty, her personality wasn't doing much for me last night. I've be close to her for a very long time and she is literally my favorite person, but she was being a little too arrogant for me last night, so I decided not to reward that. Ya know, just for those of you who are thinking I should have done it. The broader truth is that I didn't even want to. The only scary thing about that is the fact that yes, maybe it was my only chance. But I'm not fazed. I think she will want to see me again, and if she doesn't, I'll just continue being patient, because I can. Conditions will arise.
There's other recent stories I could tell, but I guess I've made my point. With patience, you get what you want. A recent thread about meditation got me thinking about this, and made me wonder if I did get something from my years as a meditator after all. My meditation was to sit and stare at a blank wall and let my thoughts pass. Sometimes I would even do this for 2 hours straight, and it was incredibly difficult, but in the end I would sit through it and patiently wait for that alarm to go off, because I really wanted to see results.
And I guess I got results, so it was time to quit, and I did. Yes, I learned that I have the ability to be patient. I learned that I can sit through the things that the mind tends to throw at a person. Boredom always turns into despair, and you really start questioning everything about what you're doing in life to the point where you find yourself an abject failure... but still you sit patiently, eyes on the prize. Recently, although I don't meditate any longer, I still go through that same process. I realize that there is literally nothing more for me to do to get to where I want than to sit and observe my thoughts and surroundings. That can be difficult as fucking hell, and that's still an understatement. I literally go so far as to want to kill myself instead of face such boredom, but I don't, and then things pass and a new day begins and something good happens.
One more objection people might have, before I end, is that instead of sitting around bored I should be doing something productive like learning a skill or going out and trying to meet people or something. I would have to disagree because I think listening is truly the most valuable skill to have, and if you do those things out of fear, you are basically deciding not to listen to yourself or your environment. I should know, anyway, because this is exactly what I used to do. I would fill all my free time with self-improvement, and it never actually got me anywhere. If anything, it actually just made me a more obnoxious person who had to make a contrived effort to bring up all the ways he had improved himself around people so they would know to appreciate it.
But yeah. Patience is good. Anyone agree?