“Endurance is the crowning quality, and patience all the passion of great hearts.”
—James Russell Lowell
If there’s one thing that makes us all cringe, it’s having to wait for things. We want them now or we lose it. In these moments, one of the last things we want to hear is the word patience.
In a fast-everything world, our expectations are mounted in the belief that we deserve instantaneous results. It’s been this way for as long as humans have been around, though our modern age as intensified it affects.
With a culture that sees multitasking as the blessing of a progressive society, we’re often pulled in many directions. And it’s driving us crazy.
In the process of making a mile out of a single step, we miss out on the rewards of utilizing endurance.
The Runner’s Anthem: Patience Builds Momentum
Ask any runner what’s the most important element of gaining an advantage over other runners and they’ll say endurance. Without an ability to continue even when things get a little rough, giving up takes over.
But a good runner will also tell you that you just can’t start running a marathon because you feel like it. You have to practice, increasing your levels of endurance over time.
This is where we often go wrong, at least I know I have. We see people doing things we’ve drooled over for a while and burst with excitement, not realizing good results aren’t necessarily immediate.
The beginning is not easy because you have to put in the work yourself. Successful people didn’t get to where they are only by reading about someone else. They started moving at their own pace.
The act of staring at runners is a lot different than actually taking your own strides. You feel the effects of every step. You carry the heaviness of each breath in your lungs.
And with every drop of sweat, you’re able to look back and realize it was you who finished the work and no one else.
Every day, your goal should be this:
Endure until the end.
That doesn’t mean it’s going to be pretty. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be tempted to do something else along the way. But it does mean you’ll do whatever it takes to get there.
Long term, you’ll develop bigger goals that require greater levels of patience. The difference is you’ll be better suited to endure by then. And, most importantly, you’ll build momentum.
Momentum is key.
Distractions Are Inevitable
Regardless of whether you’re literally running or writing a book, your focus is crucial.
But when our minds are fixed on trying to do multiple things at once, we force it into overdrive and short circuit our results on that one important task.
Making the line clear, then, is necessary for your creative process. By setting boundaries for your time, you reveal how serious you are about getting things done. That’s the best way to create.
We often confuse multitasking with productivity because it’s how we’ve been programmed to think. Do a little something here, a little there, a little something everywhere. The results? No progress.
You’re basically content with doing a whole bunch of nothing.
That may sound harsh, but it’s actually true. Sadly, many jobs require us to do this. It conditions us to consider multiple things at once without giving all of our attention to one thing at a time.
Then we carry them home with us.
This creates unhealthy productivity, the kind that leads to more stress instead of less, more chaos instead of peace.
Give yourself an objective for the day. Keep it simple and purposeful.
Consider the most important task for the day before you begin. Then go after that with intention. It doesn’t have to last all day, though.
As said by Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D.,
“Success is not about how many hours you put it, but the quality of those hours.”
As long as you stay focused on what stands out in your day by limiting distractions, you’ll do more and better than you assumed.
Taking Advantage of Every Step
To make the most out of your journey for success, you have to push yourself often. The more you stretch your limits, the farther you’ll be able to go the next time around.
Running carries an analogy for life.
I didn’t see that until I became more self-aware, noticing how impatient I was to see results. Nothing made me more upset than doing the same thing over and over until something finally improved.
But over time, applying patience with consistency and rest allowed me to continue to create without the worries of comparing my current status with others’.
Sure, it gets hard, but it’s supposed to. Nothing in life comes easy or else everyone would be doing it too.
You have to see your goals as valuable to your time or else you’ll drop them and continue to live a rushed life, which will never make you happy and always lead to disappointment.
If you want to be in it for the long haul, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, you’d benefit greatly from being patient.
Enjoy the process. Not many people do.
Those who do compose the minority of people who stick with what matters to them instead of worrying about how successful the next person is.
At the end of the day, success is relative. If you’re constantly growing, promoting growth in other people’s lives, and doing what brings meaning to your life, you are living in success.
You may have other things you want to check off before you’re in the clear with your own conscience, but start there and keep moving forward.
Runners push themselves to be the best they can be. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t do the same with your productivity.
Kevin Horton is a photographer, student, modest book-worm, and wanna-be web developer with a new-found love for writing. He writes helpful words about creativity, productivity, and the enjoyably simple life.
’Til next time. Thanks for reading.