Learning to Embrace the In-Between

I love beginning projects. Nothing is more exciting that launching something important. I love finishing projects too. As an achiever, I live to check things off my to-do list.

It’s that middle part I don’t like so much.

It’s true of projects. And it’s also true of life. The middle part is the hard part. The messy part. The part I wish I could avoid.

But Jeff Goins new book, The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing is a great reminder that the middle is where the important stuff happens.

This is a hard message for most of us to hear. We live in a world of instant gratification. We want what we want and we want it now.

But this is not how life works. Much of it is spent waiting:

  • waiting to see the doctor;
  • waiting to get your driver’s license renewed; or
  • waiting to hear if your got the job.

Let’s face it, we’re restless. We’re dissatisfied with where we are now.

This even happens when we aren’t waiting but working through the projects, relationships, and events that make up ninety percent of our daily lives.

The In-Between is a call to accept the importance waiting plays in our lives. As Jeff notes,

Maybe the ‘good stuff’ isn’t ahead of or behind us. Maybe it’s somewhere in between. Right in the midst of this moment, here and now…. Perhaps, the abundant life we’ve been seeking has little to do with big events and comes in a subtler form: embracing the pauses in between major beats.

The moments of break-through where real change happens aren’t typically instant and extraordinary. They usually happen gradually in the ordinary course of our lives.

This book is a wonderful corrective to our modern, give-it-to-me-now culture. It is a powerful reminder that we must embrace the “long game” of life, if we are to experience the love, joy, and peace we seek.

I gave away 50 copies of The In-Between. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.

Question: Question: Where do you find yourself smack dab in the middle of something? What are you learning? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Kimley D

    I am in the middle of starting a new book, but have had to put it on hold to put both my parents in a nursing facility. At the same time, I am working to build my leadership skills to move into another position at work. Juggling several things that are “stressful” certainly stretches the term “Multi-tasking”. However, I know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and it will come together in good time.

  • Suzi McAlpine

    Thanks for the introduction to Goin’s fascinating new book. I find new projects, or “journeys” as I describe in one of my blog posts, tend to follow a certain pattern. After the initial excitement wanes, there is often a stillness or “dead calm” i.e. waiting, inaction and treading water. This can make us feel like we are stuck in a rut. The secret is to embrace the stillness, knowing ‘this too shall pass’. Cheers, Suzi.

    • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

      Amen, Suzi. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joni

    My husband has been out of work for the past 6 months, so we are definitely in-between! Honestly, the waiting is miserable, and we are trying very hard to appreciate the good things even about this time. I’d love the book, though, to help gain even better perspective.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tonylimajr Tony Lima

    I’m currently in the middle of college as well as improving my writing. I really like what you said about creating your own perspective. “Mix ideas to create a unique perspective.” I think we take for granted our unique experiences and knowledge so much that we feel they are not worthy of being shared. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • NWalker

    I am a lifelong healthy, active person. My career path includes being a journeyman electricianin the 70′s (leading edge for women), general contractor and interior designer 80′s, consultant to business startups, entrepreneurs and artists for the next 15 years in which I wrote 4 books I used with my clients, and spoke to audiences large and small coast to coast. Then after being widowed I became a flight attendant on private jets where i am still employed. 2 years ago I was in an accident at work and my life has been doctors, surgeries, pt, govt agencies, denials, board hearings, insurance…. This is a limbo that is hard because I find it difficult to reconcile endless delays and procedures that don’t work as planned which bring on more tests and delays. My job is held for three years and i have 10 months and counting. This between is frustrating to say the least.