Photo by Alexander Lam on Unsplash
Although I can?t really remember my mother saying, ?Son, patience is a virtue!?, I do for some reason have that saying stuck in my head from my childhood. As if just saying that to a child helps them to understand the importance of patience? I suppose that saying this over and over to children helps to build value around the concept thus aiding in development of their moral system.
I learned so much from my parents as I grew older about being patient, humble, and honest. And even when our relationship was strained (another story for another time), I still credit them for raising me to develop the awareness needed to be more patient with everyone and everything in my life.
I believe that patience is a virtue, as well as being humble, and being honest in it?s full capacity (which is really tough sometimes.. I wrote about that over here). But in this post today I?d like to focus on my experience and daily reminder to myself to be patient.
A few references to virtue and patience:
What is a Virtue?
Vocabulary.com states the following:
Virtue is the quality of being morally good.
The word virtue comes from the Latin root vir, for man. At first virtue meant manliness or valor, but over time it settled into the sense of moral excellence. Virtue can also mean excellence in general. One of your virtues might be your generous willingness to help out your friends. The phrase ?by virtue of? means ?as a result of? or ?by authority of.? You will achieve success by virtue of hard work.
I also like Dictionary.com?s first two definitions of Virtue:
1. moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
2. conformity of one?s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
Very interesting choice of words in my opinion on that second definition, ?conformity of one?s life and conduct?.
So, is patience virtuous?
?Patience? is best described as a state of forbearance or restraint in the face of delay or provocation, without becoming overwhelmed by annoyance or anger. It is the ability to endure something negative that?s found its? way into our environment, without letting it control our behavior.
Patience is a person?s ability to wait something out or endure something tedious, without getting riled up. Having patience means you can remain calm, even when you?ve been waiting forever or dealing with something painstakingly slow or trying to teach someone how to do something and they just don?t get it. It involves acceptance and tolerance.
A World Developed Around Impatience
We live in a world of immediacy, constantly checking our smartphones for reactions to our blog posts, shared pictures, messages, etc, that we send out into the world. We crave that feedback, either positive or negative. Its a reaction, and a dopamine hit to our system.
We are being programmed to think and feel a certain way because of the technology that we use (plenty of good articles on this subject out there recently, most notably one I read today from Arianna Huffington here). This is a fast-paced world and if you aren?t moving as fast as everyone else you?re going to miss out? so you believe.
I personally have always had a love for technology, always researching the latest and greatest thing on the market. And I?m a musician so I?m constantly searching for new sounds, and new ways to make my stage performance life even better and more efficient. This also means that when I find new technology to use to bring my tribe of people together, I push hard for everyone around me to join in that technology as well. It?s working great for me so I?m certain that it will work great for you, right?!
Over the years I have ran into many situations where business partners, trusted friends, or even close family members have reacted negatively towards me. In some cases, I have been too confident. Or sometimes I am so certain of an idea that I?ve blocked out those with opposing opinions. If I?m asked to guide someone with a new piece of technology, I?ve become easily frustrated and defaulted to handing them over to a separate entity to solve their problem.
As I?ve grown older and wiser (hopefully), I realize that there are so many opportunities that I?ve passed over to be more influential, to be more loving and understanding. I think back to situations where I could have just taken a deep breath, chose to spend a little more time diving into a problem, and maybe just maybe I would have learned more about others and/or myself in the process.
I learn more everyday through the practice of patience. Here are a few benefits that come to mind:
1) I learn so much from keeping proper perspective
I learn so much more about myself, and how to conduct my life, when I choose to keep proper perspective.
If I?m frustrated with any person or specific situation, I have to tell myself to mentally and physically step back. What are the situations that led to this specific moment? If someone feels a certain way, and it contradicts everything that I believe, I have to step back, remain calm, and ask myself this question:
What type of environment did/do they have, and how is different from my experience, and what about that would lead them to draw conclusions that are opposed to me?
I have found that EVERY TIME that I have mentally asked that question to myself, I end up feeling calm and reserved. If I was arguing, I don?t feel the need to immediately respond. I?m trying to divide my emotion from the thought process of discovering a solution to bring to terms.
This practice has led to much better friendship, relationships, and overall I feel that I?m much more comfortable to be around (I guess you?d have to ask my friends about that, but ultimately that?s my goal).
2) The less I assume, the better I feel, mentally and physically.
Have you ever heard this expression?
Don?t assume, because if you assume you make an ass out of you and me.
HA.. but what?s really the truth behind that statement?
From thebridgemaker.com on The Art of Patience:
Assumptions lead to impatience because the lack of knowledge and uncertainty can make you feel very uncomfortable. Instead, consider the facts. Look to see if there is any history that can tell you what has happened in the past in order to provide assurances for the future.
The less that I sit around assuming the worst, the more time that I spend concentrating on input that guides me, makes a positive impact in my life, or that leads to proper understanding or perspective from my Number 1 above. If I think negatively, assuming the worst, then I live with that ?pit in my stomach? feeling of nervousness. I?m afraid that my fears will become reality, and those type of thoughts lead to made up conversations in your head about what you?ll have to do to rectify certain situations or what you?ll have to say to convince someone to see things your way.
This is terribly unhealthy and a huge waste of your time in this life. Sometimes you have to let ?everything happen as it will?. You are not in control and that?s going to have to be okay. I?m finding in my life that the less that I assume, the more my mind is free to learn, take on new challenges, and I feel more energetic and stable in the process.
3) Opportunity abounds
Sometimes I look around, and all I see, is the world around me moving ahead in life, and I hopelessly feel left behind. I hate that feeling. It?s the mentality of looking at someone?s success and making ridiculous assertions in your mind that you?ll never be able to get to their level.
I?m in a stage in life where I?m redefining my career. I?ve been hard at work on developing a reputation on my local scene as a top-of-mind performer. I understand that in my line of work, diversifying your income streams are about the only way that you can make it through life as a musician/influencer. So I?m out there hustling on social media, writing blog posts daily on Medium, and capturing video every week for a newly established YouTube channel to advertise what I do and bring value to that world.
But it?s so easy to look at the big players in those worlds of YouTube, Medium, etc, and decide to ?throw in the towel? so to speak. You think to yourself, ?How will I ever be able to have the influence that these people have?? and ?I?m not sure if I have what it takes to make it to that level??
And just when you are doubting life and all down in the dumps about your progress, how many opportunities for you to shine passed you by, yet you spent the day watching everyone else reap the benefits instead of you? Don?t get me wrong. Watch, research, and learn from the best in your industry, but when it comes time to take action, TAKE IT!
Be patient in a sense where you are happy to see others find success that you haven?t discovered yet. This is just revealing to you that there is a path to long-term success! Having the patience, combined with the fortitude to get up every morning and annihilate your goals will eventually lead you to find your own path to becoming the best at what you do, and success will follow.
It all has to start with patience.
I started posting to Medium 3 weeks ago, influenced heavily by Benjamin P. Hardy, Thomas Oppong, and Tom Kuegler. I have been patiently posting, responding, and engaging on this platform because I truly believe in the benefit of how ideas can shape our world. I?ve been employing some pretty heavy patience on myself and the process, because I understand what it will take to find success and I?m excited to take the ride. I now have 300+ followers and although that?s peanuts comparatively, that?s also 300 people that never knew I existed before 3 weeks ago. It?s all in your perspective, and in the patience to put in the work to find the success that you want to achieve.
Thank you for reading my posts! I appreciate responses and the support. I will patiently await your responses and thoughtfully consider your perspective.. HA!
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