In the English dictionary, patience is defined as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”. In real life…. patience is that thing that brings everything to fruition. But, as with everything in life, there is always a thin line between being stubborn and not patient enough, giving up too soon and continuing on a path that doesn’t feel good. So here comes the big question: how can I strike the balance?
When Fairy Godmother said the Cinderella that “Even miracles take a little time“… my reaction was… “Ok, ok, but how much is a little?“. Weeks, years, months?
I always write about the things that get to my core. So obviously, my biggest challenge right now is to have patience and faith. Everything that I do or live seems to take time, too much time, waaaaay to much time…. OK, do you feel already my struggle?! As a character, I am naturally untamed and fearless and this gives me power and stamina. But the other side of the coin is that I often get to despair when things don’t go my way… Sounds familiar? 🙂
Unconcluded meetings, cancelled appointments, signed contracts that by magic disappear, unpaid work…. that’s the definition of my life right now. Relationships, work, money, personal goals, everything seems to have hit a wall recently.
If you feel you are in the same situation, be it personal or professional, then you are not alone….and that should make you feel better already. So many of us lack patience and thus jump the boat before time.
I truly believe nothing is for nothing. If we know how to control the mind, we are also able to control the results. That’s why, instead of despair, I carefully listened and researched about patience.
I often find peace in stories or analogies, because whatever path I am on, there was for sure someone else who experienced the same thing. Student hat on and let’s go!
So, what is actually patience? Do I need it or is that for people who don’t know how to live life? And when to stop being patient? How do I strike the balance between patience and change of course?
Let’s dissect together few ideas
About instant gratification and microwave society
“I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.” ― Margaret Thatcher
Few weeks back, in a sleepless night, I was scrolling on Youtube and stumbled upon this video. At that point, things in my life were on a roll, so did not pay too much attention.
But in this video, Simon Sinek talks about instant gratification and how our society was programmed to either get results or quit. This is very much related to the concept of patience and nurturing ideas and projects.
And yes, we all want to have the results and impact in whatever we do in life, but few of us are willing to stick with an idea for more than 5 seconds. Especially when we don’t have the experience in a certain area or when we put too much time pressure on our goals and ourselves.
That being said, Simon makes a very good case why patience is so important in whatever we do in life.
About expectations and patience
“Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.” ― Brandon Sanderson
One day I sat down and wondered why do I feel disappointed at times. I had so high expectations from myself. Always be the best, be perfect, show on time, don’t cry, stand still, don’t let other people see your vulnerabilities. That’s how I was grown up, that’s how I thought I should act and had the same expectations from others.
But all that cracks down at some point, because guess what…. I am HUMAN. And so are you! So when those self-imposed expectations were not met, my inner voice started talking s*&t about myself and this is how disappointment starting installing.
I noticed, in my case that expectations, when in good faith and combined with divine timing, can create miracles. But, when self-imposed and critical, have the opposite effect and can hinder me and create also a lack of patience.
So first step was to be more patient with myself; this also changed my outlook towards others and their behavior. Actually, this little thing COMPLETELY changed my relationships with friends and dear ones, because I stopped being so critical and setting up standards that even myself couldn’t achieve.
About patience as a matter of the heart
“Patience is not sitting and waiting, it is foreseeing. Lovers are patient and know that the moon needs time to become full.”- Rumi
I guess having patience with your heart (or in relationships) is the most difficult thing. Taming your hearts‘ desires might seem so unnatural, because when you really-really-really want something and that something doesn’t show up in the shape and form you desire…. man, that’s one big struggle on our plate.
But here is one thing I learned: cultivating faith and patience in a relationship (or in times when you are single, for that matter) can really transform anyone on a very deep level. It is said that we get what we deserve in life – by growing spiritually, chances are to get something better than if I chase an impossible relationship or a person that doesn’t really want to be with me.
Isn’t this thrilling, isn’t this worth to be patient and love unconditionally?
Bonus tip (especially for the ladies): never ever-ever-ever think you can change the person next to you. The only one you have control over is yourself. I mention this because I mixed in the past the concept of patience with the desire to change someone else’s behaviour.
The result was a mess: splattered hearts and broken feelings. Not recommended. As harsh as this might sound, it is the worst idea in the world to enter in a relationship or stick with one in the hope that (s)he will change for you.
About patience and commitment
The level of success you achieve will be in direct proportion to the depth of your commitment – Roy T. Bennett
Here is another tough one: how do I keep the commitment and still work on something when I see no results?
My guess is that here is where the breaking point is for the majority and where success is defined. Working hard and dreaming big when all you have is a little seed might seem crazy for the majority of people. And this is where my biggest challenge is also.
More than 1 year ago, I was sitting at a table with a person that I admire and respect. We were making a business plan, and one of the biggest teachings in that talk was
Commitment is to do what you said you will do, even when you don’t feel like doing it.
Because, as I learnt on my own, nothing will come to fruition if I sit and wait but don’t act on whatever I commit. My biggest example was my wish to quit my job: 3 years I did not act on it, I was just bitching about my life and looking at pictures on instagram. The day I made a commitment to take back my life, things started rolling and in only 3 months from that day, I already had a plan.
Seeing the blessing through the hardship
“Struggles often serve to release the wisdom, patience, and strength we all possess but too seldom demonstrate.” – Jim Stovall
Growing your patience is a painful process, no one escapes. But from the struggle emerges the most beautiful results. And here is the time for another analogy.
There was a caterpillar, who one day went in a cocoon because its time has come. Deep inside many changes were taking place, but on the surface nothing was obvious. After a while, one day, the cocoon started moving. Did you ever watched a butterfly emerging from the cocoon?! What a struggle and pain. But he HAS to do it all by itself, if someone else breaks the cocoon, his wings are not strong enough to fly and he will die. The tight cocoon is the nature’s way to train and strengthen the beautiful creature. And when all this process is finished, magic happens.
When Charles Dickens wrote “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times“, I think he was referring at my life in 2018. This was THE year to learn and humble myself. Whenever I find myself stopping and not following my commitment, I remember the butterfly story and go back at kicking that freakin’ cocoon.
It is said that we all have a MISSION in life, but also a PRIMARY CHALLENGE to keep on overcoming throughout the years. If I didn’t yet completely discover my mission, I think I definitely discovered that patience is my no.1 challenge. Reading and writing about this topic has been in itself an amazing clarifying process.
And before we are done…..
I want to leave you with a final story also related to patience, but before that I want to thank you all for the amazing support and for sharing in private your knowledge, stories and challenges.
They are all a great source of inspiration for me, of support and a reason for me to keep on sharing my thoughts on this blog. I have not been too active in writing, one of the reasons being the transformational process, the other travelling, but I made a commitment to get back. Now you have to have a little patience with me too…
Much love and wanderlust!
The bamboo tree story
Via Matt Morris: Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. In its first year, no visible signs of activity. In the second year, again, no growth above the soil. The third, the fourth, still nothing. Our patience is tested and we begin to wonder if our efforts (caring, water, etc.) will ever be rewarded.
And finally in the fifth year – behold, a miracle! We experience growth. And what growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks!
But let’s be serious, does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond?
The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people.
People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich- quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth.