Trying to maintain patience …

me9bOver the last several weeks, I have been trying to gain a better appreciation for having patience.  Regardless of the topic at hand, patience is always easier to recommend than to endure.  Meaning, it is always easier for someone to say “You just need to be patient” than for the person struggling to simply accept their advice.

Aristotle wrote “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” which I believe is what inspired the “good things come to those who wait” common quote that is often referenced.   Kind of like when you really want to eat some strawberries, but realize they are not yet ripe enough to eat.  However, if you have patience and wait a little longer, the strawberries will taste amazing – especially when they are dipped in milk chocolate!

“Patience is the best remedy for every trouble” wrote Titus Maccius Plautus.  This reminds me of the approach that a former manager (Jerry) used in his daily life.  Jerry was less than five years from retirement when I started working for him and had pretty much set the cruise control on his tasks at work.  I did not see him very often, but always for an hour on Friday mornings.  During this meeting, we would allocate time to talk about questions I had or decisions that needed to be made.  If I were to have ten items for him, at least nine of them would all receive the same answer, “let’s wait and see what that means.”  In most cases, the problems resolved themselves prior to Jerry having to ever make a decision.  I believe Jerry must have been a fan of Titus Maccius Plautus.

So, while I understand that it is better to let the strawberries ripen before trying to eat them and that waiting before making a decision may cause the situation to resolve itself, the concept of being patient still gets to me.  In fact, the more passionate I am for the item that requires me to have patience, the harder it truly is for me to be patient.

In other words, it is easy to have patience to wait for the grass seed I planted to fill out my lawn – because I am really not all that passionate about the lawn being 100% perfect right now.  However, if my passion involved renovating a golf course which needed the grass to be perfect as soon as possible, I would struggle with being patient – because every day the grass is not completely grown is another day lost without my dream being fulfilled.

I have realized that the mere confidence from someone close to your situation can offer assistance that calms the challenges with being patient.  As an example, hearing something like “Hang in there for me please!!!” at just the right time, by the right person, can provide relief when the pressure is at a breaking point.  So, while one person suggesting “You just need to be patient” can provide virtually no support, the right person can actually give the comfort you really need to help you during your difficult time.

In closing, I wanted to include a quote that has provided help when I’ve struggled with being patient:

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well.  If it is worth having, it is worth waiting for.  If it is worth attaining, it is worth fighting for.  If it is worth experiencing, it is worth putting aside time for.  (Unknown)

Hopefully, this provides some relief the next time you are struggling with being patient.

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About johnjvester

Information Technology professional with 20+ years expertise in application development, project management, system administration and team supervision.
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