February 5, 2016

Why is Patience the Pathway to Success?

Emerson, the illustrious American Transcendentalist poet, rightly stated that life is not a straight shot to any one goal. Life is full of curves, steep mountains, deep valleys, U-turns, and other setbacks. In some cases, it’s full of meteorite-size holes in the middle of the road. Now, that’s a roadblock!

I’m using these words as metaphors for any life changes that bring sorrow or joy. Of course, sometimes life is pleasant and stable. However, for some of us, steadiness is often elusive—or temporary.

That’s why patience is a necessary part of the process. Patience is often our only transportation to new levels of joy. Those who glide through life on puffy clouds of ease and prosperity often find that they don’t have the momentum and stamina to reach their highest goals. They may end up settling for a state of comfortable mediocrity.

Lofty goals are rarely achieved without climbing the highest mountains, and that always requires work. Here are some examples:

Undercover Boss—is a hit reality series. On a certain episode, the CEO of a company went undercover in one of the retail stores.  This top executive didn’t originally come from a privileged background. He was accustomed to difficult labor. On the other hand, the sales associate who “trained” him had lived a life of ease. Therefore, the worker didn’t have the necessary motivation, or patience, to move ahead in life.
The employee wasn’t willing to wait for eventual success; he chose immediate mediocrity. He wasn’t willing to be diligent enough to qualify for some sort of promotion. He was happy being a sales associate. The hard-working executive couldn’t move the unmotivated, impatient sales associate forward.

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”—Augustine of Hippo
America’s Got Talent—is a reality show that showcases patient, as well as impatient, contestants. The difference between the two is evidenced by the quality of their performances. Those that have tried to get around the normal routine of practicing a given craft for years, even decades, get voted off the show almost immediately.
Publishing—is a difficult business, not one for a person with little stamina. Many new authors expect to throw a few words together quickly, publish it themselves, and make quite a bit of money immediately.  They don’t want to expend the necessary time and money to put quality work out there--and it shows.
Frankly, I was of this same mindset when I first started. I have since learned how wrong that attitude was. Self-publishing doesn’t provide instant success; no career does. It’s just not reality. Quality and time are key to longstanding victory in any field.

“Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn

My conclusion
Patience is a virtue that is worth its weight in gold.  Precious metal can’t buy us an enduring triumph; persistence can. Impatience in any situation is rarely a prudent choice. It can sabotage our relationships, careers, academic standing, and even our safety. Here are four different ways to explain the need for long-suffering:

“There are no shortcuts to success.”—Joyce Meyer
“There are no drive-thru breakthroughs.”—Joyce Meyer
“There are no microwave victories.”—Joyce Meyer
“The testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”—James 1:3-4

What have you gained through patience?

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