Patience is A Key Element for Success

Patience is a key element for success…
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew.”- St. Francis de Sales
Opportunity: “One Door Closes … Another Opens.” Revelations 3:8

I posted a version of this piece on my WordPress blog and decided to update it for here. This afternoon on CBNC, I watched a terrific meeting/interview held at Columbia University’s business school. The guests of honor were Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and MBA students got a chance to ask them questions on any topic.

The session was engaging, entertaining and highly informative. If you know anything about these two homegrown billionaires, it is that they found their focus early in life, Bill in computers and Warren in investments, and completely poured everything they had into creating successful niches and companies. What stood out for me was when Bill Gates said that “patience is the key to success.” And also that both men agreed that there is a measure of luck, such as being in the right place at the right time, that contributes to our success. I concur. We can’t give up even when we think failure is the only option … Press on, your lucky moment might just be around the corner.

Undoubtedly, this has been an incredibly challenging year for many people. If we stop for a moment and reflect on the year, I suspect we have all been through or been affected by more than we wish to disclose. It has been difficult, yet, through it all we have put one foot in front of the other propelled by a certain inner resolve to push past the heartache and headache; to trust in a greater power or our own inner strength or simply to just not lie down and cave in to the pressure. If you have made it thus far, rejoice in the blessings and share your wisdom with others; every ray of hope we can give another helps us too.

“Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on; hold fast; hold out. Patience is genius.”- Comte de Buffon

In Joel Osteen’s new book, “It’s Your Time: Activate Your Faith, Achieve Your Dreams and Increase in God’s Favor,” he shares a story about a hiking trip he took awhile ago. He started his hike with enthusiasm but soon found himself slowly down as the air got thinner and his muscles got tighter. A sign up the mountainside suggested it would take 3 hours; Joel was concerned he might not make it all the way up, but another hiker came along and advised him to keep going because as he put it “You’re closer than you think…”

Feeling inspired by the encouragement of a fellow hiker, he ambled up the mountainside in 10 minutes. Joel didn’t realize how close he was to his goal and that timely bit of encouragement helped him patiently push forward. I enjoyed Joel's story because it serves as an important reminder to keep the faith, focus on your goals, believe in a successful outcome, and maintain a cheerful spirit. Indeed, our next opportunity, our next open door is around the corner. Wherever you are in your struggle, know that you are not alone and trust that something better is coming your way.

As the year grinds on to the final days of 2009, the general sentiment is that the last decade has been dreadful and 2010 had better deliver better results. While I am glad to see the decade end, I don’t think the new millennium started badly. As the years went by, plagued by one global catastrophe after another, we unwittingly found our collective way up that dreaded path.

Through 9/11, the wars, famines, floods, Tsunamis, food and water shortages, Madoff madness, Palin death panels, and Wall Street debacle, we had some bright moments; Capt Sully, President Obama, the growth of social media and other new technologies, advances in medicine, Google’s recent $20 million gift to various charities, and a growing social consciousness about the need for a sustainable planet where our carbon footprint mattered. This decade hasn’t been a total write-off. The next decade will surely have to make up for the losses with brilliance and abundance. We are all closer to our good fortune, our global re-direct, and it will be better.

“There is nothing so bitter, that a patient mind cannot find some solace for it.”- Seneca

Recently, I saw the new George Clooney movie “Up in the Air” about a traveling executive whose job entails flying all over the USA helping companies terminate staff; a job I always thought was solely handled by HR departments. Clooney’s character is not snarky but the daily grind of sharing bad news leaves him commitment phobic and emotionally distant… The film was both touching and depressing because it reminded me not only of the strife many are facing today, but also of the loneliness out there for folk who struggle alone, with no definitive support system of family and friends, in the morass of massive cuts.

Interestingly enough, Kevin Renick who wrote the song “Up in the Air” for the movie, introduces the song at the end of the movie during the credits, sharing that he too is unemployed, and that he hopes they use his song … that comment made me shed a tear; just the brutal honesty of it. Even if Kevin's comment was just used as an emotional trigger or tear-jerking device it was an effective, deliberate conclusion to a sad story.

“People in a hurry cannot think, cannot grow, nor can they decay. They are preserved in a state of perpetual puerility.”- Eric Hoffer

As serendipity would have it, Walter Kirn, author of the novel “Up in the Air” wrote a piece - Digital Mistletoe – in a recent New York Times magazine in which he tells a poignant, beautiful tale of his period of loneliness, after his divorce, and how he met his current girlfriend through Facebook. He describes how he was saved from the “viral bummer theory” which, as Kirn sees it, is the lot of those who spread their misery through the internet in a desperate attempt to connect with someone, anyone willing to wallow for a moment… Well, we don’t have to make that viral bummer bit our entire story. We can vent for a bit, and then like Kirn, choose to have a better outcome and avoid getting caught up in the web of our negative thoughts and beliefs.

While I believe that we attract what we believe and become, I also think our circumstances are shaped by far more complex conditions than our belief system. Armed with our DNA, our cultural conditioning and opportunities, we follow a blueprint mapped by our actions and consequences. The one thing we can do is maintain a positive attitude; an attitude of gratitude in all things. No matter how dismal our current circumstances might be, we must patiently hold onto that glimmer of hope; that light we see through the keyhole as every bit counts and affects our results.
Sure, you might question the veracity of my suggestion that positive thoughts can affect outcomes … but imagine the alternative. Would you rather embrace the darkness and settle for a pity party of regrets? What good would that serve? As Ryan Bingham, the key character in the movie – Up in the Air – says to the audience at his motivational presentation, why carry around a backpack filled with your burdens; your garbage? Let it go...

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The hardships have touched me and my friends as well. Dee Dee is a close friend. She works for one of the major airline carriers and while she loves her job and the excitement of regular travel, she has observed how the cuts and furloughs put more pressure on people in her field of work. Esme, another close friend, is a realtor, a writer, and a mom who experienced a devastating loss this year – the death of a beloved child. Luz is in insurance. She is a single mom holding down multiple jobs to make it work and observes the increasing apathy in customers, who saddled by their own business struggles, have little energy to give to hers.

Each of my dear friends represents a segment, albeit a growing segment of society, facing the seemingly unending demands of a shifting, sobering world. We have all, directly or indirectly, been impacted by the inevitable challenges of the last several years. I am confident though that our difficult conditions will get better. As in Murphy’s Law, I believe that everything that goes down must eventually pick up… There is no success without effort and patience is part of that equation.

All things come round to him who will but wait.”- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Yes, we are close to the end of an old year, the beginning of a new year, and the possibility of a breakthrough attracting good things we always wished for or imagined. Don’t give in or give up, you are closer than you think to an infinitely better year. Perhaps, if we can remember that success and failure, pain and pleasure, good and evil are all part of the human condition, we might learn to treat ourselves and each other with greater compassion.
Be of good cheer. Exercise patience … the fog will lift and the sun will shine again bringing abundance and blessings to all. We are closer than we think. You are closer than you think!
Are you patient about your journey to success? What do You think? How are you weathering the current global storm?

Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season; Merry Christmas and much success for the coming year!

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely agree that patience is the key element to success. Success will never happen overnight. It takes a lot of patience and hard work. I have been always patient with the journey I am walking though because I know I will get there, to where I want to be in the right time.

    Mommy Maye


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