When I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from New York, I left behind my dear friends in the a cappella group The Lost Keys .
Having spent over a decade beatboxing and rapping with a cappella groups (including Innuendo, Wake Forest’s co-ed a cappella group), I was interested in continuing to perform in the Bay Area.
So I researched groups and sent introductory emails to a number of groups who I thought were awesome and could be a good fit. All of them responded that they currently didn’t need beatboxers.
Rather than giving up my dream, I told myself to be patient. If I put enough positive actions and energy into the universe, eventually that outreach will boomerang back in the form of results.
And sure enough, several months later I received an email from my favorite group in the Bay asking me to come and audition for them.
Looking back over my life, I was surprised by how many times this delayed boomerang phenomenon has happened.
It took me years of voluntarily doing school assemblies and hip-hop education workshops before I got my first paid gig.
I obviously wasn’t doing volunteer assemblies and workshops all those years because I thought it could turn into a career. I was just trying to help students through the skills and experiences I had accumulated over the years.
It just happened that I was providing enough value that principals and teachers started reaching out to book assemblies with me.
Similarly, I did some volunteer consulting work for a non-profit that resulted in them contracting with me for three years. I went into that interaction with the intention to help and be of service, and the stars aligned.
I strongly believe that if you put enough positive, service-minded intention and action into the universe, some of it will return in unexpected ways.
Now, developing expertise is also important. If I had just been a nice person with a good heart, these people would have been my friend but probably wouldn’t have hired me. I have focused on developing skills and knowledge that help people solve problems in their personal lives and professional organizations. People have hired me because I proactively provide value and solutions to them.
Obviously putting intentions into the universe and taking action don’t guarantee that your goal will be met in the form that you anticipate. Plenty of goals I’ve attempted have not panned out, but I stay open to the possibilities, even if it seems like the path I’m attempting has been rejected.
It can be hard to maintain hope when you’re feeling frustrated, unheard, and underappreciated. It might feel like the universe is conspiring against you. But give it time and hone your skills while you wait. When you’re providing value to others without expectation, sometimes that value returns to you many times over when you least expect it.
After all, if the universe is going to repay you after a delay, it often does so with interest.
Have you experienced a delayed pay-off with something you’ve attempted or put into the universe? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below!