Patience. I’m sure that every person who is reading this article would agree that patience is essential in any endeavor. Throughout our entire lives, we hear about the importance of patience from anyone older than us. Teachers, parents, counselors, friends all remind us of its importance. But yet what happens? We are all still impatient.
Why is that the case?
We all know patience is essential, but who even really knows what it means to be patient. I mean, does it mean to wait idly as life passes us by? That seems pretty lame and pretty counter-productive, especially since we’re also told to work hard at whatever we put our hand to.
So then, what the heck is patience, and how do we learn to show it in our lives?
What even is patience, and why do we need it?
Patience is not just merely waiting a long time without a purpose. It’s not being lazy as we sit and watch time go by with no productivity. Patience is simply an understanding. It’s an understanding that we live in a world where all things take time.
Think about it. Time in our universe moves at a consistent and steady pace, and no matter what you do, you can’t speed it up or slow it down. If you plant a tree, it’s going to take a certain amount of time before it grows, you can’t speed up that process. You just can’t.
Well, everything in the world works that same way. We want to get money quick, but gaining the skills, the customer base, the following necessary to attain that money takes time. You can work as hard as you want, but at the end of the day, things are going to move as slow and as fast as they are going to move.
Now you might be thinking: “Okay, but what about all those people who have gotten rich quick? Or what about those stories about people who learned to speak a new language in like a month? Didn’t they speed up the process?”
Maybe a tiny handful of them did. But if you look at what all was involved, we often see that they did put in a lot of time that’s not talked about.
I’m sure you’ve heard of the 10,000-hour rule by Malcolm Gladwell. There’s much debate over this topic, but basically, he said that after 10,000 hours of deliberate practice of a specific skill, you would be an expert.
Now, perhaps that exact number is not entirely accurate in all cases, but it does make a critical point. That point is that things take time. A lot of time. A lot of practice and effort.
If you don’t understand this point of things taking time, how can you possibly be patient?
If you believe that it’s possible to attain massive results after say 100 hours of work, how are you going to feel when at the end of those 100 hours, you’re not anywhere near where you want to be? You’re going to feel that you’re just not cut out for whatever the task/skill is, right? And that will probably cause you to give up.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people do this in my life.
So, how to be patient?
Once you understand that things take time, this will automatically put you in the correct mindset. Mentally you’ll be prepared for the long road ahead of you. This mindset will enable you to work hard for long periods without giving up because you’ll understand that eventually, you’ll reach your goal.
Just like a plant, you, and others need time to grow. People need time to get used to your product. Your brain needs time to make new pathways that will result in you improving your skill. Your articles need time to make it up in Google searches. Why? Because that’s the way that the universe and time works.
Often when someone gets what we view as instant results, there are years of work that we don’t see and may never even hear about, but trust me, it’s there.
So whenever you’re doing anything, remember to be patient. Work hard, and don’t expect things to come immediately. Expect things to be somewhat slow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not working hard enough, or that you don’t have the mind for it. Get that out of your head right now.
Think about it, to reach 10,000 hours at anything, if you practiced 20 hours a week, it would take you 10 years to become an expert. I’m not saying this is a definite rule, but look at the principle: it’s going to take a long time. Most people would have given up long before that and never reached their goal.
So don’t give up. Keep at it. You will eventually reap what you’ve sown.
If you water a plant or a tree, it will grow into what it’s meant to grow into, right? If you plant an apple tree, water and nurture it, it’s not going to grow into an orange tree.
Just like that apple tree, if you keep working, you will learn that language, you will succeed in that business, but you absolutely must be patient. That tree will be a tree at its timetable. Sure you can affect the speed of its growth a little, but don’t think a tree is going to grow overnight, or in a month.
I don’t care how much you water it and what fertilizer you use, it’s going to take time. That’s just the way that life works. There’s no getting around it.
Once you realize this, you will be successful at anything you decide to do. But you will need to learn to…
Enjoy the process
Don’t get depressed thinking that everything you do is going to take forever, so why even start. No, instead learn to enjoy the process. Enjoy the time you’re spending growing your business, and learning guitar and Chinese. Take your time. There’s no need to rush. Just sit back and enjoy the process.
Gardeners love to garden even though it takes time because they love the process.
Yeah, it’ll be frustrating at times, but don’t let that get you down. Revel in the joy of progress. Keep your motive for working fixed firmly in your mind. Have fun as you press on.
Once you learn to enjoy the process, patience will come more natural, and you’ll see so many great results.
So remember, patience is the only option. If you’re patient and keep working, you’ll reach all your goals. And once you acquire this precious quality, life in its entirety will be so much easier for you and you’ll be the one telling other people about the importance of patience.