‘Just be patient, it’ll come.’My dad, to this day, whenever I get frustrated with slow progress.
From a young age we are being taught that good things will come to us, as long as we’re patient.
The dictionary will tell you patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.“
What it doesn’t tell you, however, is that there are two types of patience.
1. Passive patience.
Passive patience is practiced by people who keep their head down, and wait until good things come to them.
In doing so, they give away the control over their progress, handing it over to an external party. They wait until the red carpet gets rolled out for them. They often see themselves, and others who show the same behaviour, as noble.
‘If I just keep my head down and work hard, I’ll get rewarded for my hard work eventually.’
Maybe you will. Maybe you won’t.
But I can tell you right now, you’ll get there a lot faster if you arrange a one-on-one meeting with your manager TOMORROW and tell him or her the following:
I’ve been keeping my head down and I’ve been working hard these last couple of years. I want to take the next step.
I want you to tell me what I am doing right, and what I am doing wrong.
I want to learn how I can become of more value to you and this company…
What growth options do I have, and how do I get there?
I’ll do anything necessary.’
Now you’ve taken the first step to switch from practicing passive patience, to practicing…
2. Active patience.
Active patience is practiced by people who work on making progress day in, day out, and are willing to do so until they get the result they want.
In doing so, they take control over their progress. They roll out the red carpet themselves.
‘I’ve been going to the gym for six months now, and progress is slow. I’ll get the help of a dietician and a personal trainer, and I’ll keep working my ass off until I am where I want to be.’
The difference between passive patience and active patience is in the realization that you can’t expect different results, if you keep doing the same thing.
The difference is in showing up with a plan to go from point A (where you are now) to a clearly defined point B (where you want to be in a couple of years time). The road between A and B will be built by you and you alone, don’t expect others to do it for you.
There is no nobility in waiting until the good things come to you. Life is too short.
Take small steps everyday and do the things you need to do, to get to where you want to be.
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