What is the Power of Patience?
One of the greatest weaknesses today is our lack of patience. It seems that we expect to get what we want right now. But one of the reasons victory can be so sweet is that it takes time to achieve. Just think of how sweet it is to graduate from university after years of hard work and sacrifice. Think about the thrill of winning the World Series after a season of over over two hundred games and years of conditioning and practice. Waiting patiently and working toward a goal make success all the more precious when we finally get it.
I feel that our lack of patience is what has gotten us into the huge financial crisis that we’re experiencing. I am afraid that we are missing the real lesson to learned here because we are too busy blaming Wall Street and greed for the problem. The problem is a personal problem that we as individuals have created. We can blame others, but we must accept our share of the responsibility.
Credit…financial lack of patience
Up to the 1960’s banks offered very little credit, and it was very difficult to obtain. Just think of a world with no credit cards or lines of credit. Believe it or not, people actually used cash!
If we wanted something, we saved up our money until we could pay cash for it. Under these circumstances, people tended to make wiser decisions. One time a friend asked my advice about purchasing a car. She wondered what she should buy. I asked her how much money she had saved up for a car, and she said she had $5,000. I told her to buy a $5,000 car. She ignored my advice and bought the car she wanted instead of the car she could afford.
Let’s say we want to buy a car but no credit is available. We might save for two years and finally have $5,000. During those two years, we would most likely have been dreaming about getting various cars that we could purchase. We would probably take lots of time to shop around to get the best car for $5,000. Once we purchased it, we would be extremely happy because we worked toward this goal for more than two years and made a financially sound decision.
However, this is not the way we do things today. Now we start by shopping for cars until we find the one we like, not the one we can afford or that fits our needs. Then we buy it using borrowed money. The more expensive the car, the greater the depreciation and the greater the interest we’ll have to pay on our loan. Sometimes the cost of insurance on a new car is also dramatically higher than on a used car.
The thing that people fail to see here is that if we had bought a $5,000 car with our savings, we’d have no monthly payments to make. We’d be free to spend or save our paychecks as we please. However, if we buy a car with borrowed money, we must repay that money with interest. This means that we’ve spent part of our subsequent paycheck before we’ve earned them. When we buy on credit, we give away our future.
Living a debt-free life is incredible. It may mean not having new cars or fancy toys, but it means having true freedom. When we get paid, we can do what we want with our money. There are many other benefits to debt-free living:
- No commitments to a bank
- Better sleep
- Lack of worry about making future payments
- Fewer arguments with our souse or partner
One of the most common arguments couples have is about money. Debt-free living eliminates this stress.
There are a lot of benefits to patience and a lot of drawbacks to impatience. When going after a goal, we need to be patient with ourselves and with the process but never stop pursuing it. Any goal that we hold for a long time and work diligently toward is more likely to be the right goal for us. We will appreciate it all the more once we achieve it.
If we’re patient, we’re more likely to be chasing the right goal because we have time to evaluate our goal along the way. Many people who buy cars on credit regret it later because they didn’t take the time to consider what was right for them and work toward the goal. Fewer people who save up regret their purchases because they saved, they had time to assess their choice and research their options.
I believe that patience is a great virtue…
and the practice of patience will increase the quality of our lives and happiness immensely.
We must work toward our goals, and when we do not achieve them, we must not be disheartened. We must continue to learn from our past and improve our future. Do we need to modify our goal or continue to improve it? Eventually we will reach our chosen goal. It is a wonderful day when we have reached a long sought-after goal.
This is an excerpt from my book Attitude Determines Destiny. In it you will learn how to get the most out of life by changing your attitude and making personal changes…changes that can lead you down a life-long path of personal growth.
As a motivational speaker, I conduct seminars and workshops based upon the ideas in my book. I will entertain and inspire your audiences, and I can customize my topics to fit your needs and desires.