The missing ingredient: 3 easy ways to make patience your secret weapon

Ideas, brains and motivation alone won’t get you there. Overnight success is a myth. Here’s how to harness your patience and use it to your advantage.

surf waiting sunrise

Millennials get branded with a lot of different names and we all know Gen Y has become the generalised generation – we’re all the same right?! Impulsive, entitled, selfish, lazy and self righteous?

Most of this is grossly untrue and unfounded but in my experience there is one area most of us need some work: Our patience game.

In an Instagram-world where success appears fast and easy, we could be forgiven for believing this is the case. It couldn’t be further from the truth. “I just made an easy million, and it basically happened overnight” SAID. NO. ONE. EVER.

I believe there are two aspects to your success as a young person in today’s instantly-gratifying world:

  1. Work hard – I covered off on this in one of our most popular articles a few months ago
  2. Have patience – Success Magazine notes a lack of persistence as Number 1 in their 7 Reasons why we Fail. Most people don’t understand this, and they fail “not because they lack knowledge but because they just quit…”

I work with a massive range of clients, some of whom wish they took this advice on earlier. They needed to follow through on their convictions. If success was that easy everyone would be doing it, right?

Here are 3 actions to make patience your secret weapon:

Replace impulsive action with smart decisions

Ok, so this might seem counter-intuitive. You want to be nimble, make quick decisions and get ahead. Silicon Valley tells us to fail fast. The faster you fail the quicker you get onto the next thing and hopefully one day you nail it.

But what if you channelled that energy into making smart decisions instead of quick ones. Give yourself permission to not have the answer or solution now, but don’t waste that motivation and impulse to take action. Channel it into smart research on the decision – do your homework and acknowledge that this research is actually an achievement in itself. Reward yourself for looking before you leap.

Shop around, fill your cart, but don’t check out

With patience, your decisions are well informed and you’re in a better place to get in and go hard. Failure is still an option and you will still learn from failure, but fail smart.

Cool your jets, have patience and map your long game

This is the hare and tortoise situation. Don’t burn all your energy on the short term.

We’re not saying to slow down on your short term goals, but every minute you spend on the long game, is worth multitudes more when it comes to creating lasting success. This is true if you’re building a business, a career or  your own net worth.

Sit back, map out the long term and use patience to your advantage

It doesn’t need to be set in stone and you reserve the right to change it up at any time, but make sure it’s mapped. How does your short term goal fit into the long term picture? Make sure these two are aligned. 

Don’t be derailed, stay the course

Chances are you know how to work hard and smart. So do it and keep on doing it.

Use your patience to stay the course, put the hours in and when you think you’re done, do a bit more.

Work on your side hustle, or your whole hustle, but use patience to live your picture of a truly sufficient life.

Oh, and next time someone tries to say you’re entitled, pause for a moment… then let them know you’re coming to take everything they said you couldn’t have.

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3 thoughts on “The missing ingredient: 3 easy ways to make patience your secret weapon”

  1. When I was growing up and I am now 67 I cut out a piece from a paper and stuck it on a picture in my bedroom at my parents home. It said “Success has been won by most men by the art of keeping on”. Excuse the sexism and please read “people” in the appropriate place. It has helped me through some difficult patches in my life.
    It is well worth noting in support of what James mentions at point 2.

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