What To Do When Patience Isn’t Your Strongest Virtue

They say that patience is a virtue. But try living that out in real life. That phrase — “Patience is a virtue” — is said to have come from a fifth century poem called Psychomachia. In the poem, personified virtues go to battle with personified vices. Anger attacks Patience, but cannot defeat or even injure her; driven mad with frustration, Anger ultimately kills herself instead.


This comes to my mind because of our son, Ben. Some people would call what happened to him this past week an “overnight success.” He’s had three songs on MTV’s Teen Mom. He had a song placed on Spotify’s “Mood Booster” Playlist. It has 1.5 million followers and contains artists like Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna. Now it also includes My Red + Blue. Beyond that, there are some other potential exciting things that may be coming down the pike.

This was the proverbial “overnight success” that took the last seven years. Ben moved to Nashville to go to school. He started his own musical project. Relationships were built. Music was written and recorded. He worked hard. Time and effort was exerted. Seven years after he moved to Nashville he is just now beginning to see some of the fruits of his art and labors.

My wife, Tammy, is at the other end of the spectrum. At the beginning of this past summer she started her own business called Perfectly PillōShe made pillows. A web site was built. Facebook now hosts her Perfectly Pillō page. She has had some modest success, especially with custom orders. But visits to the web site, and orders there, are…shall way say…a little bit fewer and further between. But every single day she puts together a creative post for Instagram and Facebook. One step at a time. One day at a time. I have no doubt that this will end in success for her and for her business. But it will take patience.

Patience is a virtue. As the ancient poem reminds us, it drives away anger.

So what do we do when the things we expect never seem to happen?

  1. Set goals. You’ll never get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going.
  2. Put in the time and effort. You can’t just expect what you want to happen. Think big. Start small. Keep going. Work hard with the end in mind.
  3. Establish relationships. Very few people get to where they want to be on their own. We need people to help us along the way. Help people more than you think you should. Publicly compliment those who need it and deserve it. Lean on others. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

When you have patience you will outlast those who quit along the way. So here’s some encouragement to keep going. Pursue your dream. Don’t stop. Focus (Follow One Course Until Success). You’ll be surprised at what a decent dose of patience will bring you.

What are you patiently waiting for?

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