March 14 , 2018 /


I know that perseverance pays off, and while I believe that, I must add, eventually.  When I learned to connect patience with perseverance, I found that I had a much better chance of the payoff.  Here’s an excerpt from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.

“We are, quite naturally, impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We should like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new, and yet it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability —

And that may take a long time. Your ideas mature gradually. Let them grow, let them shape themselves, without undue haste. Don’t try to force them on, as though you could be today what time (that is to say, grace and circumstances acting on your own good will) will make you tomorrow.

Accept the anxiety of feeling yourself in suspense and incomplete.”

Patience has not come to me easily nor quickly. I know, that may sound rather amusing. It reminds me of a prayer that I probably uttered on more than one occasion, “Oh God, grant me patience and please hurry.”

When making a transition from full time to part time work I welcomed some feedback from a few colleagues who knew me and my work fairly well. My colleagues asked some good questions that included these:

“How long might you be comfortable living with the tension?  For example, in your experience, do these things tend to resolve themselves with a little patience?

While I might have responded, “No, these things do not tend to resolve themselves,” what I focused on instead was my lack of patience, thus the lesson learned was for me to take a breath, step back and realize it doesn’t all have to be accomplished within 2-3 months.  The key phrase that struck me right away was, “with a little patience.” That was the missing component. I had wanted the transition to happen easily and quickly.

Another penetrating question was, “Is there a willingness for you to change the idea you have if something unexpected comes up that you didn’t anticipate?”

I had to pause and think about that and that I didn’t have an immediate response was an exercise in patience and the notion of taking time to achieve more discernment and clarification. That was a little aha moment, the idea of patient and deliberate perseverance, better informed perseverance. I might have even referred to it as a more fully developed perseverance.

As I reflect on current events and what I consider an appropriate response, one reaction (choice?) is to be upset, unhappy and distressed. Another option is to continue to embrace hope and work for positive change. Transitions from what is to what can be take time, patience and perseverance, whether personally, professionally or even nationally and globally. In the end, it’s all about where and how you want to invest yourself, your time, your energy, and your talent, and remember this. You have choices you may not have previously considered.

Comments (4)

  1. Patience is not my middle name… but I’m learning. I can remember when I went back to work part time after having children. I told the company about everything I wanted to accomplish but only wanted to work around 20 hours. Within two weeks I was full time – my choice. Moving overseas has tested my patience in more ways than I could ever imagine but the longer I stay with it, the more I discover is possible.

    Grateful that your post here has me thinking. A gift. Thank you.


    1. Thanks to you for sharing, always welcome. And always glad to contribute to your thinking. Like you, patience was seldom one of my strong suits but over time, I learned the value, and of course, am still learning. It’s an ongoing process, like so many other learning experiences. It helps keep my mind working, trying to figure things out and in, where to put the emphasis, where to let up and let go, and the beat goes on.

    1. Jeff, All thanks go to you for your hard and deep work that has been a benefit to so many others. I am intrigued to see what you’re going to do next on your continuing journey of exploration and discovery. Best wishes to you in every way!

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