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The Power of Patience


As a child my family sat huddled around the dinner table in Arvada, Colorado.  Finished I leaned into my dad “Dad, I’m going to go to bed now”, my father looked at me strangely. With a curious tone he asked, “why?” I retorted, “The sooner I go to bed the faster tomorrow will come.” My dad chuckled and let me do my thing.

It was the longest night before Christmas ever.

Perhaps this was a sign of what was to become. The beginning of my personal battle against instant gratification. For whatever reason I was born with the understanding that I should be able to trick time and manipulate it to my favor. Somehow, when it comes to learning patience, I am not alone.

How do you do with patience? Let me rephrase that a bit, how do you do with patience in your leadership life?

I have found that the root of many problems in the business of life has to do with our skills at patiently enduring. Often times, the difference between average leadership and great leadership is a clear understanding of the value of patience.

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.” – Edmond Burke

  • Patience teaches that we learn to enjoy the journey and the destination. My friend is driving home to Wisconsin over the holidays. I overheard him say that this year, for the first time, he is considering stopping at the SPAM museum. Why not let patience teach us to enjoy our journeys whether a road trip or a career destination.bigstock-Patience-44287369-2
  • Patience urges us to stay in the moment. Our minds tend to wander, but learning how to stay present in the moment allows us to listen for understanding. Over the course of a lifetime listening to these urges will save us thousands of stupid replies that do not make sense.
  • Patience promotes a huge trust. Have you ever felt as if you were standing in a never-ending line visiting Santa’s lap? Understanding the power of patience promotes belief that is larger than yourself. Learning to believe in something greater allows the waiting to be worthwhile.
  • Patience converts time from an enemy to an ally. When we understand that time is an ally we can then begin to work with instead of against it. The great Hebrew Psalmist said it this way, “So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
  • Patience illustrates that we can be our own worse enemy. You probably don’t understand this, but sometimes I force things into fruition. Have you ever forced an outcome? You know, Make it fit – force things into compliance. When standing back and viewing our efforts from the eyes of patience its clear that we struggle unnecessarily.

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” – Napoleon Hill

We lead in a pill popping, fast food eating, get rich quick kind of way. However, understanding the value of patience will break this cycle. We can all learn to develop the many benefits of patience by simply practicing it daily.

When is the last time you gave yourself permission to practice patience and enjoy the journey?  

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  1. Eddy

    Thanks for the reminder to exercise patience!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia12-20-2013

      Your welcome Ed and thanks for teaching me to patiently exercise. 🙂

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