Waiting for Godot

Last month, I attended an entrepreneurial seminar where the speaker used storytelling techniques to illustrate his points.

My favorite part of his speech was when he gave his audience one example of a college lesson. The speaker was in a theatre class, where he was required to read the play “Waiting for Godot.” The play follows two townspeople having a conversation in France as they await the arrival of the infamous Godot, who was expected to come fix their community. At the end of the play, Godot never comes.

The speaker’s point was that a lot of people in businesses “Wait for Godot” when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. His point was that they should look around at their current resources and see what they can do as well.

As I tend to do whenever I hear something inspirational, I took the statement on a personal level. While I most often consider myself a happy person, like most people I fall into the waiting game more often than I’d like. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the game you play with yourself to try to be optimistic. It includes statements like these: “When I get my raise, I will be able to take the vacation I want.’ “When Mr./Mrs. Right shows up, everything will magically fall into place.” “If I can just get through this cold long winter, I know I will find happiness again.” “When my mom/husband/child does (insert action here), then my life will make a turn for the better.”

If I think long enough about it, I’m probably always waiting on something out of my control to come in and make life better.

This is exactly what the two individuals in “Waiting for Godot”‘ illustrate for the play’s patrons. The characters wait and wait, only to be disappointed because their awaited visitor never arrives.

It seems like a sad tale, telling of the desperation of people when they have hope for a savior. But I think it was meant to be more of a lesson in self- sufficiency and motivation. What’s keeping these two people in the play (and us) from doing the things needed to make the community better? Or our own lives better?

The only person in this universe that you control is yourself.

What are you waiting for?