Impatience is not a virtue. I am as guilty as anyone else on being impatient once I decide I want something. I hear stories of my time as a child when, once I got something in my head that I wanted, I would be relentless about it until I got my way. I wasn’t a bad kid or terribly greedy (I don’t think), but stubborn enough to hound others to death once I had my mind made up.
Determination isn’t bad. In fact, if we call my childhood example above “determination” instead of “impatience,” it’s easy to praise the practice. Who doesn’t appreciate determination?
“Impatience,” however, speaks more to the speed with which we want something to happen as opposed to “determination” which means that we stay with something long enough to make it happen. There’s a big difference.
Take, for instance, moving up the ladder at work. It is unreasonable to expect a graduate fresh out of college to enter the workforce in a position that took others many years of experience as well as the education you share in common. Rookies on sports teams don’t typically steal the show just by showing up, although they certainly have the right to earn the spotlight based on their performance. Gaining skills in new areas usually doesn’t happen overnight. Legitimate degrees aren’t earned in a semester. Financial nest eggs take a lifetime to accumulate. Growing in maturity isn’t something we will to happen and then magically achieve in our teens or twenties.
If I could wave a wand or have a position of power to make things happen instantly, I’m sure there is no end to the changes I would try to quickly initiate. I doubt I’m different than anyone reading this in that regard. However, I hope that the wisdom of age brings with it an awareness that there is no substitute for time as a necessary ingredient to many changes that are substantive. The good ones are worth the wait.
Save yourself some frustration by remembering leap year lesson #258 – Some things take time, so be patient.