Why you need to be patient
Updated: Oct 11, 2022
My wife thinks I'm a bum. At least when I'm in the kitchen.
And I can't blame her. My cooking skills are almost non-existent, and I refuse to improve them.
But my wife has top-chef skills.
She can take a few random things out of the fridge and make something delicious.
The dish that most amazes me about my wife's cooking skills is her peanut stew. She gets everything prepped and gets everything chopped. And then, over the next couple of hours, proceeds to make the most savoury stew.
Next, she pours the stew over the cooked rice.
At first, the sauce didn't look anything special to me. But when I took my first bite, all my taste buds were in some zen moment. It amazed me how a bunch of random ingredients can produce such a stew. It's a fantastic process.
If you want your goals to come out as right as my wife's peanut stew, you need to respect the process of your journey. More specifically, I'm saying you have to be patient.
Not the flashiest advice, but the one we all need.
And in this article, I will show you the advantages of patience and why it's worth practising for a lifetime.
But before I get to that.
Let's talk about the alluring false image of rapid success.
Disillusionment with fast success
You spend two minutes on the internet and see people selling you courses. Some on making a kabillion dollars within months, if not weeks. Or others having a great dating life with ease. And to ensure they bait you, these "gurus' flaunt their fabulous lifestyle constantly.
We get the idea that we can get the same life fast.
So many naive people (including me) spend hundreds of dollars on these courses. Only to find themselves ripped off after the money-back guarantee time has passed.
So many of us fall for such things because we believe immediate success is the norm. On top of the gurus flaunting, the media shoves all the uber-successful WizKids down our throats.
Remember Elizabeth Holmes?
She was the youngest billionaire at one point. She was all over the media with her Theranos company and was touted as the next Steve Jobs.
Well, as fast as she rose, she crashed even harder.
She turned out to be a fraud and got convicted of investor fraud.
To make my point even a little more solid.
You see that crypto has made countless millionaires. Oddly enough, with the rise and fall of crypto, so has the number of crypto millionaires.
And I know this because of an article on the luxury watch industry.
When all these new crypto bros became millionaires, they bought luxury watches (priced at $ 100,0000's each). But when they lost a bunch of money, they would sell their luxury watches to make up for their losses. Flooding the luxury watch market en masse.
This reminds me of an excerpt from Solon in Plutarch Lives.
'The future that bears down on each of us is variable and determined by unknowable factors, and so we consider a man happy only when the gods have granted him success right up to the end of his life. However, to count anyone happy while he is still alive and still faced with all the uncertainties of life is as unsound and invalid as proclaiming an athlete the winner and crowning him while the contest is still in progress.'
Just cause someone is enjoying rapid success now doesn't mean that's the end of their story. There is a lot more life to live. And just because you are not having success now doesn't mean it will stay that way forever. Enjoy your life and journey, for it could be a long one when appropriately lived.
Alright, with immediate success put in place.
Let's look at the advantage of being patient.
The long-term advantage of patience
When you are willing to take consistent action, no matter how small, time will be your ally.
In fact, it will be your most significant partner in any endeavour. Because sooner or later, things will come your way. And during all this time, you are honing yourself and your skill set. So that when opportunities come your way, you can take full advantage of them.
That's the beauty of patience.
And by the time you realize it, you will see how much more you have done in the years. Compared to others in your life who haven't done much.
Yes, there will be a lot of shitty results.
Anybody wanting to do something great has to go through the stage of being shitty. Remember the first time you rode a bike? Well, look at you now. Consistent action and time have made you a pro with the bike.
The beauty of patience is that it helps in almost all areas of life. And it took me some time to realize this. In fact, it only clicked in my head when I found this ancient saying: Time and I against any two.
You and time can be the most remarkable tag team on earth. You just have to give this partnership a chance. Besides this, patience also teaches us enjoyment.
Able to focus and enjoy the journey (over results)
With patience, you can focus less on the results. And enjoy the journey and its moments more.
When we just seek fast success/results, we miss the most precious part of life. Which is embracing the moment with our entire being. Regardless of whether it's a good or bad moment. Embracing all of life is a gift since these moments are all numbered in our finite lives.
So when we embrace patience, we can enjoy all that life offers. We can feel all the emotions and appreciate the people in our lives. Then, looking back, it all makes sense: the good, the bad, and the ugly times.
But when we ignore the journey and chase shallow results, we lose two things: The present moment and its hidden lessons.
Funny enough, it's so easy to forget we're in the middle of precious moments now. And to prove this point, I will quote Andy from The Office.
When the series was ending, he said the following unforgettable words about good times in life: "I wish there was a way to know you were in the good old days before you actually left them."
These words tug at my heart.
But if I was a character in The Office, I would have told Andy this:
"When you embrace every moment of the journey, you'll always know you're in the middle of the good ol' days."
So don't ignore your journey.
Embrace all that comes with it. Then when you are on your deathbed, you will shed a tear looking back. Not because you are sad that it's all over, but because you had the honour to experience it all.
And one final thing that we all experience but patience can help with, is calamities.
Remedy against calamity
I've been through my fair share of calamities. Where I've been heartbroken and hated myself for years. And amidst all that, it felt like the world was ending for me all the time.
If I could go back in time and mentor myself, I would keep repeating to be patient. It's one of the oldest pieces of advice on dealing with life's sucker punches. And the reason for that is because it is the true and tried method.
Take a look at these various sayings on patience for calamity from my boi Publius Syrus:
Patience is a remedy for every sorrow.
Patience is affliction's haven.
Be patient under your afflictions, that you may be able to endure your happiness.
There is nothing which the lapse of time will not either extinguish or improve.
Publius Syrus couldn't say it enough to his audience. Because it's so easy to forget. Patience is the remedy for enduring the hardships of life.
And on top of that, you will gain wisdom when you endure things nobly. As much as I hate to be corny, every incredible and horrible moment has a lesson to teach us. Especially the rough parts of life. But we tend not to get wiser since we don't approach them with patience.
You have to realize that we all go through bad moments. But it's the ones who are patient that tend to be rewarded from them.
So the next time you find yourself in a difficult phase. Remember to be patient, and you will gain a deeper insight into life.
But this all sounds hard.
I get it; looking at the internet, it seems everything is going fast. People are finding riches or fame while we are trying to be patient. And it just feels unbearable.
Well, there is another remedy to help with patience.
It's not fun, sexy, or fast. It's all about taking consistent action and ignoring results. I know this isn't the answer. But there is nothing else.
We must learn to be patient and focus only on what's under our control. Remember that quote from earlier?
Time and I against any two.
Keep working on yourself and your craft, and time will help you. And in the meantime, reduce your internet consumption. So you don't get swayed by the rapid success you see online.
Actually, significantly reduce your internet consumption if you want to be patient. It helps when you don't see false images of success. That way, you can learn to enjoy the journey and all its moments.
And one person who had an arduous journey but showed the patience to benefit from it all was George Washington Carver.
George Washington Carver
At the age of 29, George Carver was finally admitted to college. But got expelled for not being white. This was another roadblock in Georges's long quest for an education. He faced slavery, kidnappings, and poverty.
Yet, he was determined to get an education in agriculture.
And sooner or later, George knew it was going to happen. So he worked odd jobs to save money. And in his free time, he would keep learning about plants.
This journey would take him decades.
And then, as luck would have it, he found a methodist college that admitted black students. From there, George demonstrated his immense agriculture knowledge. He was referred to the University of Iowa, the mecca of agriculture education.
George blossomed ever more there.
Where he got his Bachelor's and Masters in agriculture. And soon enough after, he went on to revolutionize the agriculture industry. Teaching both blacks and whites how to better yield their crops. Never holding a grudge against the racism and poverty he faced. Only wanting to benefit his fellow man with what he knew best.
For George to go through this journey, he had to be patient. If we're being honest, most of our journey is not as tricky as George's. And if patience helped him, think about what it can do for us. Yet, even with patience, we have to be wary of a possible mistake.
Thinking patience is the same as delaying action.
Sometimes when we think we understand something, it comes back to bite us.
With patience, it can sometimes be taken as delaying action.
Where we sit around and wait for the right time or something. But as every corny Personal Development YouTuber will tell you, "there is no right time."
Patience is only valuable to those who take consistent action. Not to those thinking that they have to wait.
Life is all about living.
When you take consistent action, patience will help you. Either by increasing your wisdom, refining your skillset, providing opportunities, etc.
Yet, delaying action will only cause you to stagnate.
So as you embrace patience, remember to take consistent action.
And to reward your patience, let's wrap this article up with a summary.
Immediate success is not the norm but the exception. We must remember that very few people get rapid success, and those who do tend to crash just as fast.
Patience gives you a long-term advantage. When you take consistent action, sooner or later, things will go your way. Plus, you will be working on yourself and refining your skill set. Allowing you to take advantage of opportunities.
Patience allows you to enjoy your journey and all the moments in it. Good or bad, you can embrace it all and look back at your journey with satisfaction.
When things get hard in life, patience will be the remedy to help you get through it. Plus, you will get the hidden lessons to form the challenges when practicing patience.
It can feel hard to be patient in the modern world. But the only way to overcome this is to take consistent action and stop consuming the internet. Focusing on taking steps and not falling for the illusion of immediate success will help.
Remember George Washington Carver's story and patience when things get tough.
A simple mistake is to think patience is delaying action. Patience is only worth it when you take consistent action. Otherwise, you are stagnating.
I know we all hear patience is a virtue, but we rarely get an in-depth look.
Well, I hope this article satisfies that for you.
Just as much as my wife's peanut stew satisfies my taste buds.
Until next time,
The Charismatic Nerd