The Most Difficult Possession? Patience
Patience Is a Required Virtue.
Welcome to the YouTopian Journey. Each week I will be sharing unique wisdom as well as a more in-depth overview of the artwork that is featured on the Instagram @youtopianjourney. This week we discuss why the most difficult possession is patience.
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Now onto the good stuff.
“Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.”-Saint Francis de Sales
We live in an on-demand culture. There is no denying this. Everything we desire is a swipe or click away. Want to watch something? Stream it. Need a ride? Summon it. Hungry or horny? Swipe it. Need a place to stay? Borrow it. Never before has life been so easy or so convenient. But when it comes to our goals, when it comes to our success, when it comes to making personal and meaningful decisions, there is nothing that can provide a seamless and instant solution. This leaves the individual, who is used to having everything at their beck and call, at a loss. Paradoxically, the things that matter most are often the things that we are least able to obtain.
It takes time for a seed to grow.
It takes time for friendship and love to bloom.
It takes time for relationships to become strong.
It takes time for bonds to form.
It takes time for hard work to bear fruit.
It takes time for mental desires to be turned into actual realities.
It takes time to start a company.
It takes time to grow a newsletter.
It takes time to learn and become truly wise.
It takes time to find one’s own meaning.
What do all of these examples have in common? A single requirement that can only come from within, patience. This is a skill that is truly lacking in our age of “right now.”
You must realize that nothing of real value is instantaneous. The great works, the priceless books, the life altering innovations and inventions of our species, were accomplished through hard work, dedication, and long bouts of trial and error. This is a maddening experience and feeling. To realize that you possess a gift, a benefit to society that no one else can provide, only to realize that it could be years away from actualization. While you can set the terms for accomplishing your inner calling, you cannot set the time frame. You cannot determine if the public will ever accept it. You cannot make vital gatekeepers and decision makers support you. You cannot summon praise or an employment deal or the sold-out status. Essentially, you are in a room without a clock. This analogy alone is enough to make an individual crack.
This is why patience is so vital!
It allows one to look up toward the stars and have the patience to keep hammering away at their dreams, knowing that one day they will make them a reality.
Understand that you have a Herculean task ahead of you. You must possess the patience to keep walking, keep working, keep thinking, and most importantly, to keep dreaming.
“Trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit.”-Moliere
PATIENCE IS POWER
“Patience is not passive, on the contrary, it is concentrated strength.”-Bruce Lee
There is a reason that patience has been described as a virtue. It is a rare quality among the masses, especially in this ubiquitous and hyper-connected world. Even before the pandemic, patience was hard to come by and even more difficult to practice. During the pandemic, it was nonexistent. And now? It is an exceptional and seemingly unobtainable force of nature that must be tamed and harnessed. It is a rare force that will give you the power of stillness and calmness, and make you appear as a stone sentinel among the winds of life. Ironically it is what is most needed and what is the least desired quality in our world, where everyone is in a rush and almost every desire can be met immediately.
When one set outs to climb the mountain, only the intrepid are inspired by the peak. The weak become discouraged and hesitate. But the patient individual? The patient individual looks at the rock wall in front of them and begins to climb, one foot after another. They don’t look at the top, that impossibly high and far off spire, they just keep moving. Onward and upward. The same could be said of any creative act. For example, writing. A stack of blank pages awaits you. All of your thoughts, your characters, and your stories, they don’t exist until they are brought to life on the page. No one can do this for you. There are no shortcuts. There is only one way forward. You must write one word at a time, slowly filling the blank pages in. It is a dull process. It is an unforgiving process. But it is the only way. The realistic way. The patient way. The individual who can patiently and slowly press forward, in spite of the siren calls of distractions and the mind being pulled in another direction, can accomplish anything.
Realize that our individual existence is a constant tug of war between who you are and who you can become. It is fought within your mind, amongst the chatter of opposing thoughts. It is a battle that happens each and every day. Sadly, most people do not wish to become something more than their current selves. The thought is too scary, the work is too grim. The idea of transformation simply isn’t in the cards for them. The entire process is a dreary one. It is far more convenient and safer to choose mediocrity. But for the rare few, the individuals that want to augment their abilities and grow just a little bit, patience is a required skill. The process of learning and growing is lifelong. One does not read books and immediately become learned nor does one exercise for a few days and instantaneously achieve the body of an Adonis. It requires patience to realize the fruits of your labors. The mind, if properly nurtured with education, takes years to become a master. The body, if properly exercised, takes months to transform. This is even more paramount when it comes to living, to succeeding, and to the transmutation of mental fantasies into physical realities.
“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.”-Aristotle
PATIENCE PAVES THE WAY FOR VICTORY
“Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”-Hal Borland
What we need now is not the instantaneous victory of our dreams but the patience to endure the long battle ahead. You will need to have a long-term vision, a grand strategy. The game of life cannot be played as a series of moves and countermoves on a game board. If you think this is the case, you will find yourself a piece on the board, not the player of the game.
Understand that life is played on a map that has countless forces in play. These forces are unique. Some are massive empires while others are small fiefdoms. Some are captains of industry and others are brigands. Each will have to be interacted with, and each has their own schedule. By interacting with them, you may appear on their timetable at some point, but they are under no obligation to comply with your schedule. Give them a definite date determined by you and you will realize how quickly they will stop communicating with you.
There are a variety of examples of this from different industries. It’s the rash founders who demand more investment than investors are willing to give on a timetable that isn’t realistic. It is the proud director who demands thousands of movie theaters for the release of his passion project and who is quickly laughed out of the room. The world does not care about your timetable and your deadline, so get used to it. But an individual who possesses the gift of patience? The person that can wait, that can plan far off into the future, who knows that the immediate moment must be sacrificed so that future years can be bountiful? The map of life completely changes for that individual.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.”- Benjamin Franklin
The patient individual can pitch their business and endure the rejection. They can use this time to learn and grow, to alter and amend their pitch decks. The same applies to would be writer and directors of films. Some of the greatest companies, prized books, and most timeless films were rejected when they were first proposed. A lesser individual would have given in and given up. But the patient individual? They kept going. They had a grand plan. They believed in the notion that today may not be their day, but tomorrow could be. They have the patience to hold on fast and look toward the future, always dreaming and always hoping.
Whatever path you have, whatever work you are attempting to bring about, you must realize that you cannot force acceptance from others. You cannot command customers to show up and empty their wallets. You cannot demand partners to deliver goods or services the second that you require them. You cannot manifest a business or an innovation or an invention with a single action. These are all long-term ideals and until they are accepted and actually work, they are on life support. They may be grand fantasies but are feeble realities. It is only with patience that they can grow and become great. It is only with patience that you can begin attracting the right attention from the right people. It is only with patience that you can constantly improve. You must possess and understand the power of patience because it is the patient who are victorious in the end.
“Genius is eternal patience.”-Michelangelo
PATIENCE IS A SKILL THAT MUST BE CULTIVATED
“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.”-Julius Caesar
One is not born with patience. On the contrary, it is a skill like any other. The more you practice it, the stronger you become.
And we need this skill now more than ever!
You will find yourself in uncomfortable situations. In fact, to find one’s self in a situation outside of their control is part of the rhythm of life. Try as we might, we cannot shelter ourselves from the muck and slime that life throws at us. We can only work toward improving our situation and ourselves. We can only act on the immediate while at the same time, have patience for those things that are far off on the horizon.
This will be difficult but there is no way around it.
The instantaneous summoning of anything that we desire has ruined our ability to wait. We dream of becoming the next Nelson Mandela, but we refuse to go to prison. We want to be the next billionaire, but we can’t stomach the years of sacrifice and poverty to achieve that. We want to create the next great work of art, but we can’t deal with the countless rejections. We want to be the next movie star, but won’t suffer through the process of getting denied. Lacking this ability, it is pointless to have grand goals and dreams because these are only brought about through the process to work and wait, wait and work.
But if we can adapt a mindset of patience, we can go from being a steadfast statue to a colossal defender of our path and work. We can tower over the battlefield of life, prepared for a variety of outcomes. Our patience becomes our strength. Our patience becomes our guiding light. Our patience becomes what grounds us in authenticity. We must be patient, as patience makes us strong.
Patience, backed with persistence and supported by genuine merit, is an unbeatable combination. Leave the complaints to the weak. You have a path to walk and a reason for being here. The work you are bringing to reality is far too important to leave up to chance and far too significant to give up on. You cannot let the current circumstances of who you are now influence the future you that you can become. But patience is required to reach that future version of yourself. Think about that. Right now, there is a future version of yourself that is successful, knowledgeable, healthy, wealthy, and wise. But that future version is at the mercy of the choices that you make each and every day. Future you can be altered in a variety of different ways. If you make the wrong choices, that future version of yourself can even cease to exist. That is why having patience is so important. It allows the future that you envision to come to pass and become a reality, but only if you have the guts to stick with the circumstances and patiently endure them.
“Come what may, all bad fortune is to be conquered by endurance.”- Virgil
IN OTHER NEWS
I had the pleasure of being on the Raw Rants podcast where I was described as “genuine, fun and absolutely f#%$^& brilliant!” We talked everything from entrepreneurship to motivation.
It was a fun conversation and I hope you enjoy it. You can listen here.
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I’m Shaun Gold and if you are reading this, you are already on your journey. Catch you next week.