On Patience: 17 Original Aphorisms

Short takes on the virtue of patience, and the costs to those short on it
BY Mike Donghia TIMEMay 8, 2022 PRINT

The following is a short collection of my own aphorisms on the subject of patience.

While I’m not nearly as witty and profound as the many fine writers who have taken up the genre before me, I find that I enjoy it very much. There is pleasure to be found in trying to craft a pleasing line and reflecting on simple but life-changing truths from a hundred different angles. It seems to fit me well.

It’s my hope that one or two of them jump off the page for you and cause you to see these old truths in a fresh way.

  • What many call talent is really patience in disguise.
  • To be a prodigy requires giftedness, to become a success only patience.
  • The ultimate freedom lies in being able to wait patiently for a good thing.
  • Impatience is the feeling that important things are outside your control. Wisdom is knowing how few things are within it.
  • Impatience is a failure to find a single thing in the present moment to laugh about.
  • The way to have enough time is to never be in a hurry.
  • It is easier to look for a shortcut than to play the long game, and life has set the odds accordingly.
  • Life has a simple mechanism to reward the patient at the expense of those in a hurry—the passage of time.
  • You’re financially rich if you don’t have to look at prices, but truly rich if you don’t have to hurry.
  • The person in a hurry wishes to have arrived yesterday and can’t wait for tomorrow. It is today they hold in contempt.
  • Those who rush through life are like men who wish to hurry back from their own honeymoon.
  • Ruminating on an outcome has never once made it arrive sooner, or made the wait more enjoyable.
  • For the mass of men, it appears easier to scratch lottery tickets than to wait patiently on the sure thing.
  • To the person in a hurry, life is a series of obstacles. To the patient, life is a stroll toward a happy destination.
  • Far more mistakes are made by switching to a supposed better plan, than by sticking with a decent plan for too long.
  • Beware of the plan to reinvent oneself overnight; real change occurs over months and years.
  • Far better is a good plan executed patiently than a great plan pursued in haste.

This article was first published on This Evergreen Home.

Mike Donghia
Mike (and his wife, Mollie) blog at This Evergreen Home where they share their experience with living simply, intentionally, and relationally in this modern world. You can follow along by subscribing to their twice-weekly newsletter.
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