I don't know how long it took to build Chateau Frontenac, but I'm pretty sure it didn't happen overnight. I visited Quebec City as part of the five-week French immersion study program I'm in, and the hotel is just massive. Photos don't really do it justice. To build a huge hotel like that, I'd imagine you'd need a team of people who are not only talented, but also patient.
Learning takes patience too. This month in Quebec has been an emotional roller-coaster ride: some thrills, some unexpected twists, and some moments where I just want to cry and hug my mommy. Speaking primarily broken French, it takes a long time to say or understand anything. Body language becomes incredibly important, not only in expressing yourself, but in reading others' emotions; it's easy to tell whether someone is enjoying our slow paced conversation or just becoming frustrated. I've come to really appreciate people who are willing to be patient with me and make the effort to show it physically.
This French program isn't exactly summer camp, but it's close: full days, new friends, and camp leaders on whom everybody secretly has a little crush. One of these “animateurs”, Mylène, was exactly that, and I'd like to tell you why she's amazing: She greeted us each morning with a smile and a bright, “Salut!” She never showed the slightest indication of being frustrated or annoyed when I was having difficulty speaking. Mylène was understanding and helpful; always encouraging, and never condescending. She showed patience and interest by listening with her whole body, and her actions demonstrated that she genuinely cared for people. Everyone should be as lucky as I am to have a friend like Mylène. I told her, as well as I could, that I appreciated her care and patience: “Merci! Tu as beaucoup beaucoup de patience!” She replied humbly and simply, “Pas assez.”
Patience helps us succeed as individuals, but more importantly, remember that your patience and caring make an enormous difference to the success of those around you, just as Mylène made a difference to me. I believe that we all build our lives, together, one step at a time. Life is a project even bigger than Chateau Frontenac, and to be successful, we need a team of people who are not only talented, but also patient. The world is our team, and we need more people like Mylène!
August 5, 2008
"Learn the art of patience.
Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure.
Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success."
- Brian Adams
Joel Hilchey speaks and facilitates workshops across North America, empowering students, educators & business leaders who want to build stronger, more positive teams and communities. Contact him by phone at 1-877-487-5635 or check him out online at www.joelhilchey.com!
RIDDLE: A man pushes his car along a street lined with hotels. He grudgingly pushes his car past many before stopping at his hotel destination, nearly at the end of the road. He pays $1500, takes a short break, and pushes his car away again. What is going on? Bonus points: What hotel was it?Email Joel your answer!