Too Little Too Much


By Thamar Jones
How long does it take for a rose to bloom? For a babe to form in the womb? For a boy to grow into a man? For girls and boys to finish high school and graduate in cap and gown? How long does it take to earn a degree? How long does it take to prepare your favorite meal? How long does it take to build a house with a firm foundation, or travel to your favorite destination?
My point is that good things take time.
Think about it. When was the last time you did something in two minutes that was worth your while? Have you ever had an in-depth, open heart conversation that lasted one minute?
Have you crafted a thing of beauty in ninety seconds? No my friend, the best things in life not only take time, but are worth waiting for. Why, then, do we yield to the temptation of instant gratification? A news piece pops on our Facebook, and we only read the headline. We prefer articles that we can skim in 2 minutes but they never teach us anything new. We get annoyed when the waiter takes too long to bring out our food or get angry when traffic keeps us for an extra 10 minutes. We give up when it takes too long to achieve a goal or never start at all.
There are many things that we want to achieve but we never start because we fear how long it will take to accomplish. Finishing that degree, starting a garden, opening a business, reading a novel, baking a cake, but whether it takes 5 hours or 5 years, remember that the time will pass. Anyway the question is will you have your cake at the end of it?
The best things in life take time, so train yourself to wait graciously for things to come to fruition. Patience is something we can all work on. Truth is, we are often impatient in some areas while in others we are too patient.
Patience is a virtue and like all virtues, there can be an excess just as there can be a deficiency. Yes you can have too much patience. And too much patience is just complacency, passivity, or even laziness… whatever you choose to call it, it causes procrastination and inaction which can keep you stuck in a bad place for a really long time. Passively waiting with no plan of action is not the same thing as having the virtue of patience When you think of the virtue of patience, think of Aristotle’s virtue theory and the golden mean… the golden mean is the perfect midpoint between two extremes.
On one extreme is the deficiency of patience which causes impatience, intolerance and rashness–on the other extreme is indifference and inaction. The perfect middle point is a
virtuous patient individual who knows how to wait until it is the right time to act.
This brings to mind the Serenity Prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
Patience, is a funny thing. When people have too much patience, they stay in the same place and never achieve their dreams. The same is true when people don’t have enough patience, people may give up too easily and not achieve their dreams either. To achieve your dreams you have to have just the right amount. Lots of people have “too much patience” or are comfortable passively waiting and end up wasting time. They are willing
to put up with long commutes, bad relationships and unfulfilling jobs just to pay the bills… passively waiting keeps people right where they are, stuck in the status quo.
Living the life you’ve always imagined and achieving your dreams will require you at some point to say “enough is enough!” In other words, to lose some patience and give yourself a push to achieve your dreams.
Let’s face it …. Anything worth having, takes work. If you really want to change your life and achieve your dreams, you will need to work at it. The first step may be when you finally say to yourself – enough is enough! And the right amount of patience will move you closer.
Be patient enough with yourself so you keep going. Don’t be so patient with yourself you put off for tomorrow what you could do today and you will achieve your goals.