A patient man is always richer than an impatient one, even if the patient man has less money.
What do I mean by that statement? Well, riches and wealth can take other forms besides dollars and cents. In what sense is the patient man richer? The answer is actually very simple. A patient man is always richer than the impatient one because the patient man can always afford to wait. The patient man is never desperate. The patient man has time to spare, while the man in a hurry is always on the verge of bankruptcy as far as time is concerned.
In any situation you can think of, impatience is a source of weakness and fear, while patience represents substance and strength.
And here’s another reason why patience gives the person who has it an incalculable advantage over those who don’t have it: It gives him deeper insight into himself and others, which is a mark of philosophical refinement. If you can only see the short term, if you think only in terms of the here and now, then you are stuck in a one place. You can’t judge distances. You live in a world that’s flat and two-dimensional. In other words, the impatient person lacks all sense of perspective.
If you can only see the short term, if you think only in terms of the here and now, then you are stuck in a one place.
Perspective lets you measure your current plans against things that have already occurred and against your desires and aspirations for the future. Then and now, here and there, near and far, need and know, watch and wait—these are the dual optics that allow the patient man to see in stereo. The nearsighted person sees only the present; the fantasizer sees only an imaginary future and, more likely, trips over his mistakes trying to get there.
Patience enables you to see the big picture. It helps you to make the most of today while building a better tomorrow. For that reason, it’s one of the most valuable equities of all, one that you should make every effort to acquire. The payoff will be worth it.
Adapted from Leading an Inspired Life.