Patience – do you desire it?

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Patience is not only about enduring but maintaining a good attitude whilst you endure. Our patience is tested on a daily basis; often when we are dealing with people.

I stumbled across this quote;

“Patience is necessary, and one cannot reap immediately where one has sown.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

There were specific periods in my life where I became greatly disappointed and dispondent due to not receiving what I felt I had earnt or deserved.  I am an ordered person and like to plan, plan, plan. There were times I did not allow for setbacks and delays. Inpatience and a lack of gratitude soon kicked in. You see, when you are solely focused on meeting a need or desire, you are often blinded by the blessings that have come your way.  You can even overlook people due to being all consumed with your wants and needs.

I have spoken with a few people about patience in order to gain an understanding of the different views we hold. One or two people felt that because they had suffered hardship and setbacks, this meant they had patience. I do not believe this to be true. If we desire particular things in life, say marriage, a house or a high flying career and are waiting years for these to come forth – this does not equate to patience. In most cases, we have no choice but to wait.  There are particular desires that with all the will in the world, we cannot bring them forth in our own strength.

You cannot then confess to having patience as you had no other alternative but to wait. It is important that we choose to maintain a good attitude whilst we are “in waiting.” This shows a true sense of character and gives us such freedom. Also we can still enjoy life in the meantime. Life does not stop because we have not yet received our heart’s desires – it moves on and so should we. 

How do you maintain a good attitude whilst waiting?
Does this depend on how long you have waited?

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36 thoughts on “Patience – do you desire it?”

  1. As I get older I am starting to have more patience. As a teen and younger adult, I wanted things to always happen fast. A couple years ago I prayed for patience. I went through so much after that, but I learned how to have patience.

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  2. Echoing Catarina’s comment, I associate patience with setting the bar high and opting for quality over quantity. Low-end objectives typically turn out to be low-hanging fruit. High-end objectives require strategic planning, hard work, and focus: they require patience. It is up to each individual to decide how high the bar should be set in a given situation.

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  3. Hi Phoenicia; I have said that patience isn’t the lack of wanting things its the ability to wait and work towards them with faith and joy. but I think its much easier to have patience when you can see that you are making progress towards that goal and when you don’t have people in your immediate circle of friends or family who seem to be getting more of what they want more quickly than you are. comparing is the biggest enemy to patience I believe. Its hard to run your own race as they say. thanks for sharing, max

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    1. Maxwell – as the saying goes;
      “Comparison is the thief of joy” (or something along those lines)
      Someone will always be prettier, cleverer, wealthier therfore it makes no sense to try to line your life up with another’s.

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  4. I’m really bad with patience. I always want what I want immediately. Part of starting a business is learning how to be patient. You rarely see an immediate reward for your actions. I’m working on learning to enjoy the process. And that makes it that much sweeter when I start to see the payoff for all my hard work…even if it does take time.

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  5. Before we begin, I must tell my favorite joke of all time, “I wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t have the patience”. It is funnier when you listen to it.

    I must admit, patience is one of my strong points. I have found, that worrying and expecting something to happen, does nothing to make it happen faster. It is better to be patient and to wait, so you can observe what is coming, and make changes to accommodate them.
    Thank you for a wonderful informative post.

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  6. I used to be an impatient kid back in my childhood. But as they say, life teaches the rules, many good things that has happened to me in recent years cam after a long wait and patience.

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  7. It you’re a Type A person who likes to get things done now, patience truly is a virtue. We can’t always get what we want when we want it. I take the attitude that I don’t worry about what I can’t control. If I want something, but it’s out of my hands to control, I just have to have patience while I’m waiting.

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  8. I see “waiting with a good attitude” (as you so aptly describe it) as a sign of maturity. It’s not expecting/demanding instant gratification for what I want.

    I was in a serious car accident several years ago, one that necessitated a long hospital stay, set-backs, illness added to injury, and a goal to ultimately walk again. (It took a long time but I did it.) I learned that the healing process has a timing all its own. I could help facilitate it by certain practices, but really I was not in control of it. Thank goodness for that. I consoled myself with healthy self-talk. “All in good time, all in God time,” I told myself, and then I could breathe a little more easily. Kind, compassionate self-talk is important, and so is crying when the feeling is there.

    Learning patience is a good thing. Patience allows other healthy qualities to develop. Steadfastness is one, as is spiritual strength and the ability to think in terms of the big picture. I like to think of the ancient Taoist question: “What is stronger, rock or water?” The answer is water. Give it enough time and it will wear the rock away.

    Patience is a form of strength. Patience is a virtue. Patience is a beautiful acceptance of the fact that I am not in charge of everything. Patience is worth writing about, so thank you, Phoenicia.

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    1. Ramona – thank you for your comment. So sorry to hear that you suffered a serious car accident. I am encouraged that you are able to reflect so positively about your healing process. It must have been an emotional ride.

      As you have said, everything in God’s time.

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  9. Exercising patience is one of those things that is far easier said than done. I am often viewed as a patient person. But I confess that it is just that I usually present a pretty calm exterior. Inside I’m definitely not as patient as I would like to be.

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    1. Ken – when I have been called patient and calm I wonder how. I certainly do not always feel it but perhaps my demeanour reflects a degree of calmness. I am ordered and practical when applying myself to anything so perhaps this gives an illusion of control.

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  10. I really like your point about not claiming patience if you had no choice but to wait, but I wonder if that couldn’t be said about most things to some degree? For example, I once pursued a client for 3 years before finally getting his business. It could be said I had no choice, but I did because I could have given up and not bothered to stay in touch. Another time I worked for 2 years to gain the experience I needed to pursue a promotion. Again, I could have given up or left the company and pursued a career elsewhere, but I chose to do the work to prepare myself for success. Overall, I suppose I consider myself to be a pretty patient person.

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    1. In those two examples you have given, I believe you had the choice to walk away and pursue another client or work elsewhere. It was not a situation that happened to you but one you chose to walk in with open eyes.

      I would say you were persistent.

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  11. Another thought-provoking blog with good comments. And I say “oh-boy.” I am not a patient person except…if I’m teaching someone something they truly want to learn, I have all the patience they need. I have zero patient with inanimate objects that don’t function when and as fast as I want to. I can be as patient as a saint when traveling country roads and insanely impatient when driving in the city (especially Pittsburgh–groan to how awful it is).

    So maybe we are all this way–patient in some areas and not in others. As I pray and wait for God to give me direction for the next stage of my life, I have the most patience of all!

    Thanks for making me articulate that, Phoenicia.

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    1. You are welcome Rose Mary.

      I am sure we all have selective patience. I too would struggle to work with someone who does not want to learn. All character building I guess!

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  12. As far as I’m concerned to achieve anything worth while you have to be determined, take action and then have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You will come across stones on your path and “barking dogs” but if you persevere you will eventually succeed.

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  13. Phoenicia, I am patient with a good attitude while I’m waiting for things that happen today, for instance waiting in the doctor’s office. I am not so patient when I see things that need to be done but aren’t being done like road repair.
    So I guess there are different levels of patience and I seem to have them both.

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  14. Great questions. I believe that endurance is different than patience. I think endurance implies positive attitude. Patience implies to me that I am waiting for something and that I am not in control of my life. I don’t think of myself as patient. I think of myself as a person who endures. I hope that makes sense. It’s hard to describe but a great conversation anyway. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. I love the quote about patience being the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting. Like you, I am a planner and get upset with setbacks. I am learning to develop a better attitude.

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  16. I look at patience as not the waiting but accepting whatever life throws you without getting upset. Patience is more of an emotion of self control.

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  17. Hi Phoenicia,
    I can’t agree with your statement that having to wait a long time for something does not mean you have patience. I believe that having to wait a long time, and waiting during that time with good humor and without anxiety, is what patience means to me. I have been waiting more than 6 years for my house to be sold. Rather than pushing and pushing for it, I have simply gone about my daily life and acknowledged that it will sell when the right circumstances come along, and that I cannot do anything about that. I view my attitude as patient.

    Really enjoy your blog! You bring up interesting and important issues for readers to think about.

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    1. Hi Dr. Rin – I think you have misinterpreted my statement. I was trying to relay that simply waiting does not equal patience but waiting with a good attitude does.

      I am glad you enjoy reading my blog!

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  18. Hi Phoenicia. I have put a lot of emphasis in developing my patience in this lifetime. I confess to having very little until I got into my 30’s. And then I met husband, and things began to change. I learned that things don’t happen at the snap of a finger. And that good things happen if we work hard. Adapting those changes to my perception of situations has made it easier to deal with them.

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