You will often hear people say things like, "Patience is a virtue," or, "Good things come to those who wait." You might know some other variations of the same idea. It's good advice, but there is a time and place for everything. If there's one thing that I've learned about patience, however, it is this:
Don't confuse PATIENCE with INACTION.
They are, as you might know already, not the same thing. I think we think of patience in too simple of terms; that to be patient is to wait for whatever it is that you desire or seek. I fall into this trap a lot. Sometimes, I find myself thinking that if I wait long enough, different job opportunities will come along to take me out of my current job. To rescue me, if you will. But the world doesn't cater to individuals, and honestly the truth is that waiting will most likely not conclude with me finding work elsewhere. No, the truth is that sometimes you have to go out there and do the dirty work yourself.
I forgot who said it, but there's a quote that essentially says that patience isn't sitting still, but rather it's "timing". That's important. When we find ourselves trying to be patient, there is a part of us that knows we can't always just set everything aside and, God willing, hope things work out for the better. Again, the world doesn't wait for anyone. You shouldn't always wait for the world, either.
Let me reiterate. Patience is NOT inaction. There is a value to waiting, yes. In my case, I think the "waiting" part is a matter of learning what I can to obtain the necessary leverage needed to get the next job (for example). But at some point, I will have to take action. Whether that's taking the effort to network or sending out resumes again doesn't really matter, because the point is if I don't do anything, then I wasn't being patient at all. I was being inactive, lazy, and defeatist, to put it bluntly.
Like I mentioned earlier, there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes, waiting is the right move. I won't deny that. However, waiting isn't a permanent move. To use a real life example, consider fishing.
When you first cast out your line, there is very little purpose to drawing it back in immediately and throwing it out repeatedly. You aren't Hawkeye -- you aren't going to catch a fish by throwing a hook at a fish's mouth with extreme accuracy. So you do the next best thing: you wait.
But consider this: if you wait too long, eventually you will realize you haven't caught anything. Why? Well, either you cast your line in a really terrible spot, or the fish have already eaten all your bait without being caught. Not realizing this will cause you to lose time and a possibly big catch. Instead, given the circumstances, you should periodically return your line and cast it out again. Now say a fish is hooked. You don't wait. That's stupid, frankly. You act. Again, it's all about the timing.
So yeah, maybe there's something you want that you can't have just yet, so people have told you to be patient. Maybe you can't wait to graduate, so people have told you to be patient. Maybe you're looking forward to the long weekend, so much so that your performance at work is deterred, so you are asked to be patient.
Whatever the case, just remember that being patient isn't not doing anything, it's doing things at the right time.
At least, that's my two-cents.
If you're new to Word Vomit Wednesdays, each week, Taylor and I will give each other and our friends topics to blog about, hours before midnight on Wednesday. The point being, exercise your brain and be vulnerable! No editing, no proofreading, just your thoughts and post. Let me know if you would like to join us!