Patience, Persistence and Passion
In the four years I’ve lived in California I’ve met a lot of what I would call “successful people”. Some have been successful in business, some with their marriage/family and others with various personal goals they’ve set for themselves. With each of these people I’ve noticed some traits that makes them different from others. They have something driving them that most don’t have access to. They have patience, persistence and passion and a mix of these three is what gives them the seemingly superhuman power to do the amazing things they do.
This isn’t something that is only unique to a select amount of gifted people. If any of us can get this mix right with the things that we’re trying to accomplish we can have similar success, too. It’s usually not all one or the other, but it’s a nice mix of patience, persistence and passion that keeps them moving along. Here’s some more detail about each of them and how they can help you get to where you need to be.
No matter what you’re doing you need to be able to see it through to the end. This requires more patience than most people have access to and no one wants to spend a lot of time doing something that has a high likelihood of failing. Time is always against those who are trying to do something new, innovative and important but if you can wait it out longer than others then you’re much more likely to be rewarded.
From a business standpoint this is being able to outlast your competitors or waiting for a market to mature despite all signs saying it probably won’t happen. Personally this is having the patience to lose weight the right way, with good nutrition and exercise and not with stupid diets and weight loss pills. Giving yourself the right amount of training on the way to running a marathon and not ditching it a couple months in. This is also having the patience to stay in a relationship that doesn’t seem to be working at the time and needs some time for issues to be resolved and not pulling the plug just to make it easy. Valuable, sustainable things don’t happen quickly and you need patience if you want them to be successful.
If patience is being able to wait for the right things to happen, persistence is doing all of the right things (and some wrong things, but pushing through them) along the way and sticking to a plan of action no matter what happens. Patience without persistence is just dragging out the inevitable result of failure and persistence without patience will burn you out and take away your focus. I guess this would be a good time to give an example so this makes more sense.
Let’s say you’re training for a marathon that’s six months away. In your head you really want to run the race the best you can and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes. That’s a good first step, nice job. You decide to make some time for your training and you’re going to run in the morning. You look up a training schedule and start to follow it. You have a long time before you’re running the race and the training moves up your mileage slowly, so sticking to it will require patience. If you run on all of the days you’re supposed to and get up in the mornings you’ve got the persistence taken care of, which is great. But, you also need to follow the training and not push yourself too much, too quickly. You need to have the patience to follow what the training says and even if you feel like you can do more you should stick to the plan.
If you don’t have the patience and push yourself too much and don’t follow the plan you’re going to get injured or burn yourself out. If you don’t have the persistence to run when you’re scheduled to run, keep the pace you’re supposed to or run the right distances you won’t be prepared for your marathon and the results will show it. Will you finish? Most likely, but your time won’t be the best it could be and you might hurt yourself in the process. Be patient, be persistent and you’ll be prepared and perform like you should.
Personally I feel like this is the most important of the three because being passionate about something can all of a sudden give you the patience and the persistence that you never knew you had before. Passion is what keeps you up at night playing around with that thing you’re building or that canvas you’re painting or that video you’re editing. You love it and what you’re doing gives you the energy you need to keep on going, even when other people think you’re crazy.
Whether it’s public knowledge or not, nothing and no one starts off awesome. It always takes patience, persistence and some real passion to keep pushing through pain, failures and setbacks but the ones who do get rewarded for it. Need proof? Just look at some of the most famous people who you admire the most and find out their story. The things they’ve done and the time it’s taken to get to where they are is nothing short of insane, but they somehow made it through. It’s awesome and intimidating at the same time.
So, I ask you — what goals do you have and what things are you pushing for right now and how does your mix of patience, persistence and passion look? Are you missing one of them with what you’re doing? If you are it’s likely that you’re not doing the right things with your time. Take a good, honest look and see where you’re at. It’s something we should all be aware of.