Patience and Persistence Two Essential Virtues for Success

Patience is a fundamental virtue to achieve any conquest in this world and when coupled with persistence real feats are achieved. But patience is also one of the most difficult virtues to obtain and cultivate, so that almost every human being experiences pain and annoyance when circumstances force him to wait while they still allow him to continue to get the goals and objectives.

Unfortunately too many people confuse patience with complacency, because there are many people who are patient but do not insist on achieving something long enough to get it, but leave aside their goals and dreams because they see that there is a mandatory long-term effort, and then they install in a mental comfort zone settling for what they are accustomed.

The famous fable of the turtle and the hare nicely illustrates the principle of patience coupled with persistence, where the speed of the hare is beaten in the long run for the patience and persistence of the turtle.

When most people think of about success imagine something like an Olympic competition of a hundred meters, where they have to make a great effort for a short time to accomplish a goal.

Unfortunately this concept is totally wrong for success as progressive realization of a dream or goal that is worth is more likened to a marathon where strength, perseverance and drive are fundamental and are tested to hit the great oak of the goals, crush it and conquer it.

Patience coupled with persistence intervene in almost the whole life of human beings, for instance in activities so familiar as: studying a career, find a worth relationship, starting a business to grow and obtain a position on the market , develop a special skill, learn a second or third language, raise children, lose weight, quit a vice, establish a regular exercise routine, live and care for a disease, replace negative habits that it have to live with anothers positive to improve and grow, etc.. All these actions require exercise patience  attached to persistence, otherwise it is unable to make or obtain anything of value.

Among current enemies who oppose patience and persistence are:

The culture of the immediate promoted by the mass media where there is taught and promotes the excessive and immediate consumption of all kinds of goods and services. Using the bad debt that is the one that is acquired for instance by the use of credit cards where it is bought something by money that it does not have and that later is going to be received in the long term of multiplied form. The message that often promotes the consumer culture is ” to obtain something of value now with little or no effort “.

The rivalry among family, friends and acquaintances. In our experience as consultants to companies and individuals we have seen many individuals that impede their success because instead of focusing on developing their own skills, set genuine championships with their family members, friends and acquaintances to see who gets the most intellectual and material achievements in the shortest possible time.

This is a highly negative habit because it establishes a mandatory comparison of different talents and puts people in a permanent defensive and offensive painful competition where it suffers the accomplishments of others while they are ignored and abandon the own ones forgetting the value of patience and persistence to achieve progress itself, regardless of what others do. If there is competition should be primarily to overcome the own limits, not outsiders.

The Traditional Education and its system of comparing different talents and to place them in competition does that the persons often develop complexes of inferiority opposite to others and to those subjects in those who are not outlined, striking such an important exercise of the patience and the persistence to obtain a good performance in new or known areas where the results have not been the awaited ones.

Sitting around waiting for things to change without any effort or increased by a twist of fate or a stroke of luck. Here we refer to behavior that certain people have to escape from reality and not attack their goals and dreams actively with all the effort and long term, but with a passive and fearful attitude that easily resign to the impediments of the way and hope to enter back into action when a fortuitous change occurs. And while this happens evade the situation by devoting time that should be devoted to obtaining their achievements to other activities that distract their focus as: Watching TV, relax, socialize, etc, that have nothing to do with the initial purpose of obtaining a specific goal.

The mental timer that many people have, where at such age or time in their lives they should have or achieve such thing: title, position, family, property, travel, etc., and if they do not get it, it is a cause of guilt , torment and enormous frustration to live the present and the future. It should be clear that all we have in life hobbles and delays, from the geniuses or prodigies, normal people to those who have some level of mental retardation. We all experience delays and nobody has all the warranties or benefits to live a perfect life.

Necessarily in what is impeded in life it is necessary to apply patience and persistence. There is no another way of making it and waiting for miracles without doing anything in the matter and suffer the foreign achievements or make the things only for competing and win to others it´s a terrible strategy that brings lag, depression and loss of time.

Patience coupled with persistence also involves experimentation. And this means changing methods, strategies or plans for reaching a specific goal when it is required.

Patience coupled with persistence does not imply continue doing what does not work to get where you want. That’s stubbornness or obstinacy and here are certain people who refuse to do something different to fix a problem that cannot be remedied with the knowledge or current activities.

Let’s look at an example: a father or mother who is professional and employee in a service company notes that its level of expenditure increases because their children grow and demand more attention and see that needs new entries of money.

Then he comments the situation with his pair and instead of undertaking a different method as a part-time business: multilevel, online business or a offline business that has good potential of growth and expansion that demands initially a little time and investment, they decide that the only exit to go out of the economic narrowness is to request additional work to his chief by which it is placed with careful patience and persistence to work overtime at his employment of permanent form, with what it achieves that his income raises partially but with a serious level of physical and mental wear, which will not delay in demonstrating in a progressive deterioration of his health and of absence of time with his family.

Notice that the initial intention of the father or family mother of wanting to obtain new income to improve the quality of familiar life is valid, but to this patience and persistence it failed to add experimentation using a modern economic and more dynamic vehicle that it would allow him to obtain a better income, but without sacrificing in the long term his health and time with the family.

Patience and persistence are assimilated very well to a farmer who plants a seed or wait  a sprout of a plant. He knows that with the introduction in the land of the plant begins a process in time that should culminates in the grown of the tree or plant and the harvest of the fruits.

Any major project requires patience and persistence with experimentation, as demonstrated by the lives of thousands of people who have achieved goals that seemed impossible given their personal, social and initial economic conditions. But that notwithstanding the use of these two virtues crossed bridges and nailed their flag of conquest in places that were impossible, improbable and unworkable for others.

While it passes this time that they can be months or years the farmer waters the seed or the plant, throws credit, takes care of the land that surrounds it removing undergrowths and plagues that could drown or kill it.

Since a seed or a plant is sown in land it is exposed to the elements: water, sun, wind and light, and that a desbalance in one or more of these elements can drown, kill a plant, a tree or to retard a crop as in case of the intense droughts that are observed in the equatorial Africa where the seeds and the shoots must wait for long periods the epochs of rain and many people, animals and plants die in the process.

Since the farmer knows the importance of having a balance sheet of the elements for his sowing, he will join the patience with the persistence and will experience new ways of helping and protecting the planting in case the circumstances leave of an awaited order.

Finally after all the reversed time, the resources and employed care the epoch of the crop comes and all the dedicated efforts receive their abundant reward with a great crop that can exceed in many cases the initial calculations.

This royal simile that is applicable to many aspects of practical life shows us the importance of using the persistence coupled with patience, experimentation and use of recursion to reach the expected goals.

Let’s make it a good use of these virtues and qualities and with them we will achieve those dreams and most cherished goals.

Here are some practical tips to develop patience and persistence as bastions to boost the efforts and culminate in achievements :

  • Become aware that patience and persistence are to achievements such as air and water is to life. Be friend of these two virtues, develop them in your life and apply them as long as necessary. Later or earlier life examine and require you in these two aspects.
  • Clearly define your dreams into goals and divide them that force you to work hard in measurable time periods, weeks, months or years. A dream is a major goal which it is obtained by achieving smaller goals over time.
  • Face the road to your goals and dreams with the attitude of reaching them through continuous improvement, learning and recycling experiences.
  • Do not bet races with anyone but yourself. Remember that in what to success refers it is not a question of the speed, but of the resistance or patience and of the perseverance or persistence.
  • Your biggest motivation must comes from get achievements that provide you a different level of life. Not to win and show others that you can do better than them.
  • Discard the culture of immediacy. What is important is the process of getting and what you learn as you navigate your way using patience and persistence. This does not mean you should not force the pace when you can get there faster. Attack the achievement of your goals and dreams with passion and energy.
  • If really you want to obtain something more of the life, you must value the time that you invest in conquering your goals. This implies that you do not sit down to hoping that a stroke of luck changes the life but you act with fearlessness and aggressiveness after the planned goals dedicating the time to achieving them for the most part, not to wasting it in the distractions that take you off the necessary focus.
  • Forget the mental timer to examine your past accomplishments. We refer here to evaluate your life in terms of what you did not get in this or that time. What matters is how mentally design your future and put determination and action in the present. Patience and persistence together will reach any achievement, do not doubt it.
  • It’s good to be persistent, but persistent experimentation must be added. You cannot always do the same thing and expecting different results. Keep this in mind especially in the economic field.
  • It is clear the old saying: “Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet” Although you do not like to wait and keep trying to do new options do it, because the triumph may be closer than you think.
  • Invest in your mind, train it with new information across materials recommended of self-help and overcoming. If you do not change the information that limits you it will be very difficult to come beyond wherefrom you are nowadays


This article was written by Camilo Parrado, an editor for Create Global Future. 

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