Why Patience Isn't Always a Virtue


Have you ever found yourself stuck in traffic, feeling the frustration build as you inch forward at a snail's pace? Or maybe you've waited for weeks, months, or even years for a promotion at work that never seems to come? These situations test our patience, and often, we're told that patience is a virtue. But have you ever wondered why that is, or if it's always true?

Most people define patience as the ability to endure delays, difficulties, or suffering without getting angry or upset. It’s seen as a calm acceptance of situations that are out of our control. When you're patient, you're able to wait for long periods without frustration or anxiety. This is often considered a virtue because it’s associated with resilience, self-control, and the ability to maintain a positive outlook despite challenges. Essentially, it’s about maintaining your composure and managing your emotions in the face of adversity.

Many view patience as a strength because it allows us to navigate life’s inevitable frustrations and delays with grace. For instance, in personal relationships, patience can help us better understand and empathize with our loved ones, giving space for growth and deeper connection. In professional settings, patience can be seen as a sign of maturity and stability, showing that we can handle pressure and wait for the right opportunities.

Questioning Traditional Patience

However, there's another way to look at patience, one that questions whether it’s always the best approach. Consider this: what if patience, as commonly defined, isn't necessarily a good thing? What if waiting quietly for things to improve actually keeps us stuck in the same place, perpetuating the very frustrations we hope to overcome?

From a broader perspective, the idea of patience can sometimes be a passive state, where we simply tolerate our circumstances, hoping they will change. This passive patience might prevent us from taking action, from making changes that could lead to a better outcome. Imagine a gardener who plants seeds and then just waits patiently, hoping they will grow, without ever watering them or ensuring they have enough sunlight. The seeds might sprout eventually, but their growth would be slow and uncertain.

Instead of viewing patience as merely waiting without frustration, we can think of it as an active state of being aligned with our desired outcomes, even if they haven’t manifested yet. This involves maintaining a positive and proactive mindset, consistently focusing on what we want to create in our lives rather than just tolerating what is.


Active Patience: A New Perspective

When we look at patience through this lens, it transforms from passive endurance to active alignment. This perspective encourages us to engage with our current situation in a way that aligns with our goals and desires. It’s about embodying the energy and mindset of what we wish to achieve, even before it becomes our reality. This active patience isn’t about just waiting; it’s about preparing and acting as if the desired outcome is already on its way.

For example, if you’re waiting for a promotion at work, instead of just enduring the wait, you could actively prepare for the role you want. This might involve learning new skills, taking on additional responsibilities, or seeking feedback to improve your performance. By doing this, you’re not just waiting; you’re actively aligning yourself with the promotion you desire.

Similarly, in personal relationships, instead of patiently enduring misunderstandings or conflicts, you could take proactive steps to improve communication and deepen your connection with your loved ones. This could involve setting aside regular time for meaningful conversations, expressing appreciation, or seeking to better understand their perspective.


Transforming Patience into a Dynamic Force

In essence, patience redefined in this way becomes a dynamic force that propels us towards our goals. It’s about maintaining a vision of what we want, staying positive and proactive, and taking steps that align with our desired outcomes. It’s not about passively waiting for things to change, but about actively creating the change we want to see.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling impatient, remember that patience doesn’t have to mean passivity. It can be a powerful tool for alignment and action. By focusing on what you want and taking steps to align with it, you can turn waiting into a period of growth and preparation, moving steadily towards the life you desire.

For those looking to delve deeper into transforming their approach to patience and alignment, the Inner Foundation Series offers comprehensive guidance. Whether it’s through the Art of Mindful Visioning, the Art of Inner Mapping, the Art of Conscious Action, or the Art of Energetic Leadership, these courses provide the tools to actively shape your reality, aligning your inner landscape with the outcomes you wish to create.