06 April 2008


I have patience in spades.

Patience, as defined by Dictionary.com, means, among other things, "quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care". Patience, when supported by wisdom and decisiveness, is a powerful tool to possess. It allows one to bide time, view all options, weigh all facts, and come to a reasoned and researched and (hopefully) positive result.

But when patience stands alone, it is nothing more than glorified procrastination. Stupidity and uncertainty abound. Opportunities slide out of hand. Situations that should have ended continue on their poisonous path.

I am often accused of being indecisive, of taking too long to follow a course of action. In reflection, I have found that this is more often true than not. While I always strive to practice the first type of patience, I do not always hit that mark. I wait too long. I weigh my options until all options are gone. And in the end I am either left holding an empty bag or a bag of shit.

I have been working to alter this flaw in myself. It is quite difficult, as it has become second nature to me. But I have begun to set agendas and follow through. My next lesson is to discover what is actionable by me and what is up to others to perform ... and to push for a conclusion from them so that I can contemplate and make my next move.

I make life sound like chess.

I suppose in some ways it is. I make a move then wait for you to make your move so that I can reassess the situation and make another move. Except rarely in life are there ever checkmates. We play to a stalemate, reset the board, and start a new game. (But this is a topic for another post ... preferably on someone else's blog. I'm not so good with this cerebral philosophical stuff.)

What's my point in all of this? I don't rightly know. Perhaps my loyal readers can help me out in the comments section.


Basilio Q Bocalan Jr said...

Patience is a virtue...but no one wants to sleep with a Saint. Saints are boring! ^_^

I think you've hit your point without realizing. You know how to be patient, you know how to weight your options, I think what's left to work on is your timing.

I do love these kinds of rants with active readers' participation. Don't you?!


Basilio Q Bocalan Jr said...

P.S. And about that "saints" thing...that means sometimes you have to throw all care to the wind and just do! Don't over examine, don't stress it out, don't think too hard...just do. Devil may care!

Tuffie said...

Your patience has always been one of the most defining characteristics about you, it's also your Achilles Heel.

Not being able to break out of a state of indecision will force all the outside factors pertaining to that decision, move forward with or without you.

Someone sent me this quote when i found myself at a cross roads not too long back and couldn't decided to walk one way or the other:

“Then indecision brings its own delays, And days are lost lamenting o'er lost days. Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute; What you can do, or dream you can, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The last line stood out to me the most and helped me to realize that the world and all those in it will not wait for me. So if there is something/someone i want i have to suck up my fear, close my eyes, and 'jump' unhindered by the outcome because I'm personally fulfilled that i was brave enough to take the leap and try.

Maybe it will help, maybe it won't, but couldn't hurt to share.


The Diarist said...

Although I injected myself into the post, it isn't necessarily all about me. (Although the world would be a much better place if everything were all about me.

So, while I do appreciate the words of wisdom ... and I truly do ... I would be equally interested in hearing/reading your thoughts on the topic of patience in general.

Have at it, ye scoundrels!

The Knowledgemonger said...

Patience is a great thing to have when awaiting an outcome. But to have patience without setting up your role in the outcome may prevent the outcome from happening.

It is a certain quality of fear that prevents us from acting out on our desires and can be disguised as patience. The concept of that nothing changing outweighs the other options.

I am a long sufferer of my own patience and cowardice. For me it was cowardice that kept me from achieving my goals. Now, I keep 2 great pieces of advice in my mind when dealing with tough situations.

"It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, 'always do what you are afraid to do.'"-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I believe life is a series of near misses. A lot of what we ascribe to luck is not luck at all. It's seizing the day and accepting responsibility for your future. It's seeing what other people don't see. And pursuing that vision." -Howard Schultz

I still have my struggles, but not as much as I once did.

Tuffie said...

I'd have to agree with Knowledgemonger in many respects, and apologize for taking the blog out of context.

hmmm. patience is a fickle thing in my opinion. while in on instance a person stands to gain by waiting to see how things play out to make the best possible decision available (which logically makes sense, why rush anything when you can wait for the right moment?) but one has to ask him/her self in the same respect: does such a moment exist?

is there a point in time in any decision making process when it's absolutely the right time to either make a choice or continue to wait? well, the only thing i can think of is when nature calls, you answer, period! ^_^

patience to me is very much like fear: you can either give into it or over come it.

sometimes putting yourself out there, even at the risk of being hurt or not getting the best possible results, is worth more in the long run than not doing anything at all.

idle hands and all that jazz

this is too deep for 9AM, ask about my little ponies and care bears next time!


Anonymous said...

Dear Diarist,

Your choice of definition could lead to some misconceptions about what patience is, or at least in my opinion, what it is.

"Quiet, steady preserverance; even-tempered care" it is, but let us look at what else it says; "as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like". Also, "an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay". The example it gives, "to be patient with a slow learner".

What I see there is a mode of thinking, NOT an action. To use you as an example, you have stated that you agree with the sentiment that you are too indecisive. You state that you "wait too long" and that you "weigh all options until they are gone" and at one moment even say that you "strive to practice the first type of patience". But to me, those are two very very very different things. Let me explain further...

Patience is simply the ability to wait, without becoming annoyed or allowing emotion to interfere with your ability to wait. Patience would be standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus an hour longer than you should and not getting upset because you are late for work. Patience would be standing in line at a bar and not getting upset because you aren't getting your already inebriated ass another drink. Patience could even be waiting for the person you love to fall in love with you, but if is, patience would not allow you to get upset if they don't. To disagree with Mr LW, I do not believe you can suffer patience.

What you can suffer though, as Mr LW points out, is cowardice and fear. I agree wholly with the idea that these two things prevent us from acting out our desires. I do not think, however, you should ever interpret those feelings as "being patient". When you state you are often "left holding an empty bag or a bag of shit", the problem is not your patience, the problem is fear of action.

You practice prudence, temperance, courage and justice, Mr. Diarist. You are good people. You practice the 4 Cardinal Virtues above regualarly and many people would do well to replicate your modus operati.

In conclusion, I think the best advice I can give when dealing with "heavy thinking" and "over-analyzation" is not overdue it. Learning moderation is one of the many things that help us get ahead in our life. I believe you mentioned that word numerous times to me. Remember? When dealing with patience, I believe it is always a good thing to possess. As far as fear and cowardice go, well, we all fear something and only in facing it head on can we overcome it.

With much love to my "Western Shore" folks, good day from Salisbury.

~The (former) roommate

Basilio Q Bocalan Jr said...

I think some people often confuse patience for either their procrastination to act or their paralyzing fear to make a decision.

I never thought of patience to be a bad thing, and still don't. Patience indeed is a virtue. It should never be put into context as something that's a personal hindrance or handicap. Patience is something everyone could use a good amount of in their lives.

If patience is thought of to be the cause of a problem or a bad outcome, it's usually because of something else.

I agree with Mr. (former) Roommate.

-"To disagree with Mr LW, I do not believe you can suffer patience.
What you can suffer though, as Mr LW points out, is cowardice and fear."

-"In conclusion, I think the best advice I can give when dealing with 'heavy thinking' and 'over-analyzation' is not overdue it." (can we add not to be overly cautious?)

Kudos to Mr. (former) Roommate.

The Knowledgemonger said...

I suppose I should have re-read what I typed in that spot, mean that I suffered more from procrastination and cowardice...

I agree that patience is a very good attribute; however, disguising one's other negative aspects behind one's good attributes is self-deceiving. And that is more to the point of what I had done in the past.

Looking at it completely from a logical standpoint:

No action equals to 0.

Action is equal to -1 or +1.

From rational thinking, I have discovered that more times than not that action equals +1 instead of -1. Also, that sometimes "no action" equals to -1.

Therefore, making "action" with rational thinking the preferred approach.