The Connection Between Patience and Passion

Patience is a Virtue (48/52)

Take a few moments to think about an area of life where you need to practice more patience…

Nice work. Hold onto that thought.

I bet whatever came to mind requires some level of struggle. It’s why you thought of it. But, I’d also bet that it has the potential to be important, meaningful, or significant to your life.

I need more patience with my kids. The kids and family are what I live for. I enjoy life with them more when I’m patient, but it’s not always easy in the midst of busy seasons of life, work, etc. I think they get more out of life when I’m present with them too.

I also need more patience in reaching some of my goals. I tend to want things to come faster than they do. I’m too often tempted to switch my focus. Tempted to turn away when something is too hard. Patience helps me endure the struggle.

The Connection…

I’ve never heard or read anything before that links patience and passion in this way. As I was researching patience, I discovered an interesting commonality. Both words stem from the same latin root — pati — which means to suffer.

This is interesting to me, mostly because it’s true.

We too often think that those who are passionate about life or their work do not have any difficulty. We think it comes easy to them.

Passion is cultivated. We’re not born with it.

(I wrote more on this here: The Illusion Every Top Performer Uses To Make You Pay Attention.)

An Olympic swimmer isn’t born with the passion to swim. It’s cultivated over time, through struggle, sacrifice, and difficulty. The costs of these sacrifices builds the passion. The patience to achieve the top of their game builds passion.

Along the way, we don’t even notice how deep the passion has become. It takes less effort to be patient. The work becomes easier. The ability to achieve becomes easier.

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.” — Saadi

The book versus the video

Perhaps this is too sharp of a turn, but I’ve been thinking about how people learn these days. How are they growing as people?

One way is certainly through reading, but the willingness to sit and read a book seems to have gone out the window. Everyone wants to watch videos these days. (I’m talking about non-fiction here.)

More effort is involved in reading this article than watching a 3 minute video. It’s harder.

Now, there are pros and cons to both methods. No doubt.

When you want to learn how to do something such as cut a turkey, watch a video. But, when you’re seeking wisdom, change, or new knowledge, you should strongly consider a book.

When you read a book, you have to endure some struggle. To me, good writing makes the book read faster, but I still need to spend far more time reading than watching a handful of YouTube videos. Because of this, there’s more thought put into the topic. The willingness to endure reinforces to my mind that this is important. It tells me that I should act, and, therefore there’s more effort to put the new knowledge to work.

The act of waiting makes us more successful

A lot of research has concluded one thing: people who exercise more patience and self-control are more successful.

These people are leading their lives, and letting their lives be led by external forces.

Psychologists explain it this way:

When we decide to wait for something, our perceived value of that thing goes up.

The chemistry in our brain is altered around this activity.

To the book example above— when we decide to endure a longer learning process, the value of that material goes up. That’s why we’re more likely to gain something new as a result.

To the passion example above— when an average swimmer endures hours each day in a pool, the value of that activity goes up. Performance improves. Progress is noticed. The value of that activity goes up, and passion is formed.

The Challenge

Wait for something

Pick something to wait for. It can be anything. Perhaps it’s better to find something that aligns with an area where you’re trying to cultivate action.

Or, with this exercise, you might want to keep it simple. Let’s test this idea of waiting to increase the value of something.

Are you ready to buy something for yourself? Don’t do it. Hold off for two weeks or two months. Notice how you feel. Notice how satisfying it feels later to obtain it after waiting.

On a small scale, this is what it feels like to achieve a goal that required massive effort to accomplish. You work hard every day. You make sacrifices. You wait. Slowly it comes together, and your mind reinforces the value of that goal. A passion is formed.

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” — Harriet Tubman

To Your Success,

Will