We’ve all heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” We commonly hear that upon learning it’s going to take longer than expected to get something we want.
Patience is the ability to wait calmly for something.
Virtue is a desirable trait or quality.
Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu told us “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
So, if having patience is good, why is it so hard? Why doesn’t it come easily and naturally?
It’s hard for us to wait to buy things, and once we’ve bought the thing, we expect it to arrive at our homes almost immediately.
We have difficulty delaying gratification. We have FOMO, YOLO, and probably several additional acronyms I’m unaware of.
But through time, the wisest among us have sung patience’s praises.
It’s my experience and belief patience is a skill which can be improved upon, and a virtue that can be trained into a habit.
Here are our favorite patience quotes:
Our first quote comes from a German-Dutch Religious Leader
“All men commend patience, although few are willing to practice it.” – Thomas a Kempis
The unfortunate reality of many worthwhile endeavors in life is this; it’s going to take longer than you think.
It’s going to take longer than you think to:
- Lose weight
- Get in shape
- Be able to run a marathon
- Get out of debt
- Start a profitable business
While we may be intellectually aware of this, we have a difficult time with it emotionally.
Becoming aware of this reality can help us to better manage our expectations, and exercise appropriate patience.
Our next quote comes from an American Essayist
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We want what we want, when we want it. But taking cues from nature can help us keep things in perspective.
Have you ever planted a tree? It takes a long time to grow.
The well-known saying, “The best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago. The next best time is today,” sums up the importance of patience as well as the importance of action.
If we work today to get better than we were yesterday, we’ll wake up in five years in a very different reality.
Our third quote comes from an American Writer
“How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience would have achieved success.” – Elbert Hubbard
It’s been said that too many people give up just short of their desired finish line. And I get it.
Working hard and not seeing big results can be demotivating and demoralizing. But the only way to improve and get better is to do it through incremental change. I can’t lose 50 lbs in a week, but I can do it over a year.
Keeping our desired change in perspective, and celebrating little wins, can help carry us through the tough times.
Our next quote comes from an English TV Personality
“My dad said to me, ‘Work hard and be patient.’ It was the best advice he ever gave me. You have to put the hours in.” – Simon Cowell
There’s no substitute for hard work. It must be done.
This can be a tough pill to swallow, particularly if you’ve already experienced success in life. If we can adopt and embrace a beginners mindset, we can tolerate slow growth and be more patient.
Starting something new and thinking you’re going to excel immediately is a recipe for failure.
Our fifth quote comes from a Chinese Business Magnate
“The very important thing you should have is patience.” – Jack Ma
Jack Ma started and grew one of the biggest companies in the history of the world, Alibaba Group. He, like so many great entrepreneurs before him, came from humble beginnings and started with just an idea.
From that idea, he took the first step, then the second, then the subsequent steps on his way to a valuation of over $165 Billion.
While I’m certain he experienced a lot of really bad days, he focused on the process of growth.
Our final quote comes from a Persian Poet
“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” – Saadi
If you don’t know how to do something, it’s really hard if not impossible. Early in our lives, we didn’t know how to do anything. We couldn’t walk, eat on our own, or care for ourselves. Now, most of us can.
You can apply that to most everything in life.
For me, I need to remind myself to have patience with my critical thinking process. We take in so much new information, and it can be difficult to interpret it. I recognize I need time to digest new information and to collect my thoughts on it. Sometimes, I’m impatient because I want to know as much as I can right now. But I’m patient with myself, knowing learning and thinking is an ongoing process.
What do you think? Where do you struggle with patience? How are you successfully incorporating it into your life? Let us know on social media.
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