We have all heard the saying "Patience is a virtue." It is said often enough, but I’m not sure we truly know the meaning. So to dig a little deeper, the definition of patience is one’s ability to wait for something without frustration. It's a useful skill and an important aspect of a leader’s personality. My own impatience has literally cost me thousands of dollars, whether it is me walking through the grocery store and making too many impulse purchases, or thinking I need a new television or electronic gadget and not having the will to just wait 24 hours so that the impatient feeling of “I need this” can go away. Instead, I buy it at the store, or worse yet, I hit the “buy it now” button, and get it in two days.
Technology in purchasing power, in communications, and in relationships has made us all very impatient. We not only want to “buy it now”, but we want an email or text response now, or we want our spouse or friend to help us now. Technology has been a wonderful advancement in so many areas making everyday life much more efficient and easier. For example, we don't even have to physically enter the grocery store to get our groceries anymore. But with every new advancement of “easier” comes an increase in society's impatience. Less patience in the everyday tasks of life may be okay, but less patience in the big things in our personal lives - our home, our business, our relationships - can be deadly. Impatience can be deadly in the long-term creation and journey of our personal lives and businesses. Rushing a process creates premature birth of outcomes that will then need “life support” procedures we may not be capable of performing.
Recently in one of the businesses I’m involved in, I have been working with a Rockstar on a long-term project that they have done a tremendous job with. But their vision and goal differ from that of the organization and it is creating disconnect and displeasure for them. And as we work through “the process”, I have been working and strongly encouraging them to be patient and trust in the process. If they would just be patient, trust the process, allow some productive procrastination through a creative process and journey, we will get to their vision and goal, but it isn’t going to happen overnight tomorrow, or in 6 months. The lack of patience in this specific situation may create a separation from the organization, which is the worst outcome possible, but may happen from impatience and lack of control to unknowingly rush the process.
The key to having patience and creating a personality trait of patience is a virtue is cultivating and nurturing your long term vision of time. The establishment of your vision for 5 years, 10 years, and 20 plus years down the road will create the potential for improved discipline to act and behave in accordance with your long vision of time and the goals associated with what you plan to be doing and where you plan to be in your 5, or 10, or 20 year time frame down the road. We must trust the process, trust the journey even when we want to “buy it now”, or “do it now”. Your ability to be patient even in your anxiety and impatience, and submit to the process of your long vision of time will yield a much more bountiful harvest then the harvest yielded from a “buy it now” impulse. Establish your long vision of time plan now!!