Patience is not passive, it is concentrated strength
written by john c ashworth
The quote in the title is from Bruce Lee.
I love this perspective.
It’s like a silent nod to those of us who prefer not to waste so much time on meaningless and unproductive things.
Those of us who prefer instead to work quietly on the things that are important so that when they are done, massive results come rushing forth.
Recently, I read a brilliant article about Chris Evert Lloyd, and how her game of tennis represented just how authoritative patience can actually be. Chris was a phenomenal world number 1 tennis player in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1981. Winning 18 grand slam singles titles, along with three doubles titles. Her list of accomplishments goes on and you can read about them on her wikipedia page that I’ve linked to here.
During a time when all us could benefit from the cultivation from a little more patience – maybe a lot more – I thought it might be good this morning to share some of the keen insights about patience that came out of this article…
Evert’s stalking brand of patience teaches us that patience is NOT complacent, it is commanding. A silent and subltle leader, patience is most often ignored by the ultra-competitive and hyper-achieving, because it is NOT the noisiest of qualities. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Usually reflected in your attitude and actions more subtly. A quality in stark contrast to what we witness daily today in so many of our unfortuate leaders.
“I never wanted to be the one on the run.” Chris explained. And she accomplished this with her ability to cultivate a level of patience in her play that was admirable. Never had an erratic moment. Never a rash shot. Never an uncontrolled blast, or a self-pitying growl of wounded ego. Only mastery.
Patience takes a level of confidence and understanding, not just of the world, but of yourself. A sustained level of concentration that keeps you entrenched in the discipline of working the problem or problems in front of you; along with the ones you can see long before anyone else can. That’s how you cope with danger and peril – with an expertise you’ve earned over many years in silence while everyone else was watching Netflix.
The world and this country are extremely unsettled at the moment. We are all feeling and experiencing this reality on a daily basis. There are a lot of unforced errors. An endless supply of recklessness, chaos and bad decisions. Much of which has resulted from not having done the work ahead of time and not not having the expertise needed to perform.
It is time for a gut check.
It’s time to think about the things we’ve been avoiding, and to focus more clearly on what should come next.
So, as you work to cultivate your own brand of patience, I encourage you to re-evaluate your priorities, because as you do this, you will quickly discover that there are plenty of distractions, and that you are very likely not quite focused right now on all the right things.
Keep your eye on the ball.