Misunderstanding Patience?

Do we misunderstand what patience is? The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen says “Patience is not an absence of action, rather it is ‘timing;’ it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way.”

His definition reminds me of a Harvard Business Review article entitled “No Is Not Forever.” In this article the author said that when you present a solution to a problem and don’t get buy in, it simply means that others don’t see the problem as a priority. His advice was to wait (as Fulton Sheen suggests) until the problem becomes a priority (unattended problems always worsen), then present your solution and you’ll look like a hero.

I’ve found that this applies to situations in which I’m working toward a goal only to find that my efforts aren’t producing the desired result. Rather than push harder, which is a natural tendency we humans have, I plant these questions in my subconscious mind “What am I missing? What am I overlooking that is preventing me from producing the result I want?” 

Then I await a response. Sometimes it comes so incredibly quickly I can’t believe it. At other times, I continue trying new things while paying attention to the impact these new actions have. Regardless of how long it takes, I KNOW with absolute certainty, that I’ll find the answer and get the result I desire…it’s just a matter of when, not if.

What does this mean for you?

For you

As Archbishop Sheen suggests, don’t confuse patience with inaction. You can be patient by reminding yourself that you will get the result you desire when you engage your subconscious mind in the effort and continue to pursue different courses of action as you await the answer. Using this approach you are continuously feeding your subconscious mind new information that helps it answer the questions you posed…”What am I missing? What am I overlooking that is preventing me from producing the result I desire?”

For our kids

Rather than admonish kids to be patient, something that is rarely in their nature, teach them the questions ”What am I missing? What am I overlooking that is preventing me from producing the result I desire?”

These questions enable them to tap into the power of their subconscious mind, consciously and at will. Let them know that as they continue trying new approaches, they are feeding their subconscious mind information that will help it provide an answer to their questions.

It’s a gift your kids will treasure for the rest of their lives…and pass along to their kids as well. Doesn’t it feel good to know that this simple act will assure joyful living for your family for generations to come?

Let others know that you love them by sharing this blog post. They’ll appreciate that you care.

I love hearing your thoughts and experiences, share your experiences with patience in a comment.

If you’d like to enjoy great confidence, check out our Confidence Self-Study programs (opens in a new link). 

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2 Responses

  1. bill prenatt

    Dale, I love the way that you ‘practice whet you preach. I see you putting this practice of letting solutions come to you all of the time. It’s a great reminder and a model that I ascribe to follow!

    • dfurtwengler

      Bill, thank you for your kind words. While patience doesn’t come naturally to me, or to most of us I presume, I’ve found that I’m less anxious, less often frustrated and much happier when I don’t try to force solutions. Also the solutions that “come to me” are always better than those I’ve tried to force. In other words, life is easier and I’m happier when I practice the patience Bishop Sheen describes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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