In my limited lifespan, I’ve learned one lesson in two parts, repeatedly. Every circumstance we face, endure and overcome teaches us two things: patience and value. If you cannot foresee a reward, then these two must suffice. The resistance you’re experiencing may serve as both preparation to receive and a revelation of the importance of a particular trait or opportunity that you’re pursuing. Some months ago, I partnered with a great friend on a humble venture to chronicle our individual growth. At separate times and through various means we’d come to a similar conclusion: we don’t know it all but we could share what we do and, in doing so, be challenged to discover more. Life will assess you by your willingness to wait and the worth you ascribe to that time. There will be tests of will and feats of triumph. You will be prodded to deliver substance after every time you settle for the superficial. Don’t dismiss it. There is an intrinsic standard that you suppress with each instance of mediocrity, one that needs you to live higher, love harder, and do better. It reminds me of any great painting: every color choice and every stroke placement contributes to a masterpiece. Even the mistakes that were covered over give it depth. And the finished product reflects the time invested and the commitment to quality. We should mirror that at every stage.