Since his retirement in the year 2013 as the greatest football manager of all time, Sir Alex Ferguson attributed his success to one word: PATIENCE. He guided and achieved 28 trophies to Manchester United football team in his 27 years of being in charge. Before coming to Man United, Liverpool was dominating the football scene. To end this hegemony, Man United shareholders chose a promising coach from Glasgow, Scotland. Ferguson had to wait four years to get a title. The crowd was not satisfied with this humble beginning, but Ferguson asked for one word: PATIENCE. The following 22 years of managing Man United was unprecedented for a football manager in terms of trophies achieved; especially, the record of 13 premier league titles since the English football was given a new name in 1992.
Speed is a double-edged sword. It helps us achieve more externally; still, it destroys us internally. Speed is one of the great diseases of the modern man; it wipes out many things that can only be recovered by patience. All virtues, including love, grow in patience. Being immersed in today’s hyper connectivity, patience is of short supply. We are constantly bombarded with the “new” that will change our life for the better. Because we are always hungry for the next big thing, we grow anxious, impatient and quick-tempered. Even worse, we rationalize about impatience by saying that we are hardwired that way. But reality is, according to psychologists, our brain is obliterated by anger and anxiety because of impatience and speed.
To develop and practice patience, I choose the following deep 3pillars that are so vital in developing this virtue in all economies, in all cultures and every civilization, past or present.
See the big picture
Impatience shows lack of perspective. Patience helps you see the big picture. It helps you make the best of today while building a better tomorrow. It is, as Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of General Electric eloquently put it: “Eating short term in order to grow long term”. The short-sighted person sees only the present, while the whole and evolved one balancing the present and the future.
Surrender to the uncontrollable
Changing things and people is as futile as changing weather. Learn to let go of the things that are beyond your control. These things are the main cause of your stress. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Trust God. Isn’t it weird we trust the airplane pilot while flying and worry about the hand of God that steers this universe? Have patience and wait for tomorrow with optimism and openness.
Be in charge of YOU
Being patient is synonymous with being in love. Work on yourself. What are the areas that need improvement? How can you evolve to be a committed, accountable human being? When you practice within, a sense of waiting emerges. And waiting is a good sign. Wait, as well as patience, is watchfulness and awareness. When you wait for something, you become alert and conscious. Notice that your mind hates waiting; it is always in a hurry. That’s the beauty of waiting - of patience.
Patience is an exercise of self-control. It is about having the inner strength to face your fears, let go of the things beyond your control, and have trust that things will be fine in the end.