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The virtue of sitting through difficult times with grace and dignity…

In a world that thrives on instant gratification and immediate results, the virtue of patience often finds itself overshadowed. Yet, waiting out difficult times patiently is a valuable asset in the pursuit of personal growth and professional success. In this fast-paced era, where impatience seems to be the desired norm, it is crucial to recognize the profound benefits of patience, especially when facing adversity.

Difficult times are an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s personal setbacks, professional challenges, or global crises, no one is immune to adversity. These trying periods can be emotionally and mentally draining, testing one’s resolve and strength. It’s during these moments of uncertainty and hardship that the virtue of patience truly shines.

“I have seen many storms in my life. Most storms have caught me by surprise, so I had to learn very quickly to look further and understand that I am not capable of controlling the weather, to exercise the art of patience and to respect the fury of nature.” – Paulo Coelho

The Power of Patience

Patience is often misunderstood as a passive trait, but it is far from it. Patience is an active choice – a deliberate decision to maintain composure and perseverance in the face of hardships. To wait out a rough time patiently requires oodles of self-control. It involves enduring the adversities without getting frustrated or giving in to a state of despair. It’s not about sitting idly by; rather, it’s about choosing to respond to challenges with grace and resilience.

One would definitely agree that the consequences of impulsive reactions during difficult times are often negative, including hasty decisions, heightened stress, strained relationships, incomplete understanding, and at times even missed opportunities.

Life is unpredictable, and patience involves adjusting your plans and expectations when necessary. Patience is about foreseeing. It is looking at the thorn and seeing the rose, looking at the night and seeing the day. Difficult times, as paradoxical as it may seem, are opportunities for personal growth and development. When we embrace patience and navigate challenges with resilience, we emerge from adversity stronger, wiser, and more capable.

Easier said than done, one might say.

Well, there are countless names in the annals of history that bear witness to the virtue of patience. One of the most recent iconic real-life examples of patience is the life of Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa. His story is a testament to the transformative impact of patience and resilience on an individual and a nation, showing that even in the darkest of times, unwavering commitment to one’s principles and the patience to wait for change can bring about remarkable transformations.

During his 27 years of imprisonment, he maintained his composure, dignity, and commitment to his cause while advocating for racial equality and an end to apartheid. Mandela was finally released paving the way for the beginning of a new era of democracy in South Africa.

Having said that, there are situations where exercising patience may not be advisable or may even be detrimental. For instance, in life-threatening situations, abusive relationships, toxic workplaces, unsafe environments, extreme financial crisis… here it best to seek counsel and advice and take appropriate actions for one’s safety and well-being.

Being patient does not mean being injudicious. Tiding over or riding a strong wave requires patience, but you will not enter or stay in the water once you know there is a shark in it.

Prudent patience is the name of the game!

Shaguffta Pattel is an Image Transformation Specialist and Progressive Parenting Coach, she is also the PR Director at ASPIRE. Living a life of complete despair, she successfully turned her life around 180 degrees at age 38 and has never looked back since. She is now committed to helping individuals to create a life that is in alignment to their personal and professional goals.

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