Have Patience – the Correct Way

Have patience - introduction

Are you in a hurry to get somewhere? Are you hurting your chances of getting there by being impatient? Are you being patient with your dreams or mistaking passivity for patience?

Being patient is a necessity to a life of achievement because it is the nature of things and the law of time that you cannot immediately reap where you have sown. Anything worthwhile takes time to grow and mature. So your dreams too require this time of nurturing and growth. It is during this time, when the fruits of your labour may not be evident, that your patience is most required.

Have patience – don’t just wait

There is a proverb that goes “all good things come to those who wait.” It is a well known saying which holds a lot of truth. But, I have come to learn, it is a saying that is flawed, in that it is incomplete.

Waiting alone is not enough. Good things do not come to those who wait. Good things come to those who wait, but who also actively do something about their situation whilst they are waiting. If waiting was all it took to have good things in life everyone could achieve their dreams because waiting is effortless. Good things rarely come effortlessly.

Have patience – passivity is not patience

Passivity is a habit that must never be confused with patience. In this country passivity is one of our biggest weaknesses. This manifests itself not only in personal lives without any real direction and conviction, but also in our politics, and our moral and ethical standards. Patience is not passively waiting for things to change. “That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience.”

So if you are simply being passive and patiently waiting for a brighter tomorrow you need to think twice about your strategy. Patience goes hand in hand with consistent action. It is easy to be patient when you are doing something about your situation because then you are in control and you are able to determine the progress made despite the seeming lack of tangible results.

Have patience – avoid procrastination and fear

Linked to passivity is procrastination and fear. George Jackson said “Patience has its limits. Take it too far, and it's cowardice.” This is very true in that quite a few people actually fear doing something and hide in the assumption that they are being patient and simply waiting for the right time to come in order to do something. But, we all know, that procrastination is a thief of time. It should never be confused with being patient.

Have patience – a painful lesson

In the book “Think and Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill tells a story with the title “three feet from gold.” It’s about a man who found a piece of land that had promising gold deposits, After convincing some relatives and friends he managed to get enough money to buy the machinery necessary to mine the gold ore.

But a few weeks later, having initially hit some gold deposits, he lost the vein of gold ore. Desperately, he and his colleagues drilled to try and find the vein of gold deposits again. But to no avail. Eventually, after digging many weeks, he decided to quit.

He sold the machinery to a junk man for a few hundred dollars and went back home. Luckily, the junk man was smart. He got a mining engineer to come and look at the mine. The engineer made some calculations and showed the junk man that the person he bought the machinery from had quit just three feet away from where the gold deposits were. Had he continued digging he would have found the gold. The junk man had truly struck it rich and made millions of dollars in ore from the mine.

This story illustrates very well the Chinese proverb that “One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.”

Have patience – handle setbacks and temporary defeat

Setbacks and defeats will come on the journey to achieving your dreams. At such times, patience is what is required. Carl Jung observed that “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.”

Do not ever let life’s up and downs make you lose track of your goals and panic, as the gold mine owner did. In that panic he missed to do one simple thing that could have changed the entire outcome of his misadventure. That was simply to get a professional opinion from a qualified person. You too, could be that close to success.

Have patience – don’t look to others

But do not judge your success based on other peoples success. One of the things that make people impatient is seeing other people getting ahead faster than they are. This is especially true if they started off at the same time and with the same resources and opportunities. A common example is people that went to college or university together. Commonly, there is uneasiness when someone is moving ahead in their career and achieving more things. At such times it is easy to leave your plan and seek a “shortcut” to success.

But this should not be the case. In order to have patience it is necessary that you know what your plan is and where you are headed as an individual. There are many ways to achieve any one thing. The trick is to stick to your own plan when others around you seem to be getting ahead much faster than you. Yes, they may be enjoying more success than you, but you know nothing about where they are ultimately headed. Why should your path and your direction be determined by what others are doing? Be patient with your own plans and your own dreams.

Have patience - conclusion

Most of all learn to be patient with yourself. You are not perfect and you will make mistakes along the way. But understand that you are on the right track and headed in the right direction, however many mistakes and setbacks you may encounter on the way. And remember; don’t just look forward to reaching the destination. Enjoy the journey too.

You are all you can be. Go on and be it.

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Other Books By Dr. Moses:

Power Principles For Purposeful Living

"Powerful And Life-Changing Lessons On How To Maximise Your Potential And Live Your Dreams"

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Power Principles for Fearless & Abundant Living

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In the POWER PRINCIPLES series of books, Dr. Moses Simuyemba, "Africa's Success Coach", shares his knowledge, experience and insight to help you in overcoming your personal challenges and limitations and inspire you towards the life you desire and deserve: a life of greater purpose, free of fear and full of abundance.