Patience is so much more than waiting and withstanding the lessons of time – it is making peace with the knowledge that things do not come to you in moments when you wish for them most, but in the moments that result in the sum of all your hard work, and then some more.
Instant gratification is something that is being conditioned into our daily lives. The ease of access to almost anything is so easy to us that the physical barriers to whatever we want has been removed. Almost anything is attainable through our use of smartphones and the internet, which has made us increasingly impatient creatures who believe we are entitled to the things we want as soon as we begin to seek for them.
Thus begins a vicious cycle in how our behaviour of quitting is born. We are born into a generation where resilience and grit is not experienced first-hand but a mere taste in our tongue from the stories of our ancestors and of heroic success stories illuminated by tales and textual lessons. Many of us as millennials have not needed to uphold vigour in chasing the things we want and remain relaxed for prolonged periods of time in our seat of comfort.
And so when the time comes to finally pursue something of interest to us, when the calling snaps us out of our trance and we finally decide to create something from nothing, when we finally realise that we want to create a legacy for our name to last forever in time, we proceed to work on these big projects in the hopes of achieving breakthrough success. And as millennials who have access to every tool and resource available in order for this success to come to fruition, we should be at a great advantage to all those who have failed before us.
However, the large majority of us quit our ambitious ventures before the slightest successes come into fruition because we simply underestimate the amount of time needed for the smallest results to surface. We see successful businesses come to light and assume that we could mirror their overnight successes which thrusts us into a journey that becomes short-lived and short-circuited. We compare our first years to someone else’s tenth year; we become fatigued with the thought of persistence and crippled with doubt in the face of repeated failures and obstacles.
Our impatience is the main cause towards our attitude of quitting. We want far too much along an unrealistic scale of time and demand to see results instantly. Our whole lives we are not familiar with waiting a prolonged period of time before seeing the smallest change because everything we have ever wanted, we can obtain within seconds. If our generation has ever been told to watch a sprout grow into a plant, without any prior knowledge or certainty that it would even grow at all, the likelihood of neglecting it and forgetting to water it after a few weeks of seeing no change would be quite high. We would eventually believe that the sprout does not grow and it was a dead-end idea, simply because it failed to transform before our eyes within the first few weeks or even months. It is only with our prior knowledge from experience that we know plants do in-fact grow with time, patience, consistent sunlight and water, that we habitually nurture it with discipline because we are familiar with this equation of growth.
This cycle of nature is factual to us, supported by the evidence of all the ‘successful’ trees around us which fuels our discipline. Take this analogy and apply it to our dreams and ambitions, and we would have a generation nurturing all their seeds into beautiful forests. The problem is that with all of these dreams and ambitions, the equation of growth and success is unknown – it is a stab in the dark and that is when our discipline becomes questionable and lacks resilience.
They say patience is a virtue, because it is the backbone of what pushes us through the tough times. It is the face of humility in not feeling as if we deserve more and not being entitled to receiving more. It is knowing that what you put in might not be equivalent to what you get out at a certain point in time, but trusting that your efforts will someway, somehow be rewarded when the time is right, whether that be in a few years’ time or further away down the track. Patience is so much more than waiting and withstanding the lessons of time – it is making peace with the knowledge that things do not come to you in moments when you wish for them most, but in the moments that result in the sum of all your hard work, and then some more.