Dirty Dozen #6 – Impatience

by Rajesh Setty on October 16, 2009

dirty-dozen-impatienceThis is part of the “Dirty Dozen” series. In Part #5, we covered the word “Indifference.” Today we will cover the word “Impatience.”

Dictionary definition:
Restlessly eager

It is probably because of the speed of life, we have started equating “long term” to “slow.” Long term and slow are two entirely different things. Most things in nature happen over a long term ( examples: baby takes nine months to be born, a tree takes  a few years to bear fruit etc.) but that’s not slow. It’s just that some things take time.

When you read about someone’s accomplishment, typically details are missing – especially the details about all the effort that went in leading to this accomplishment. Movies and books make it look simple and say, “If they can do it, you can too.”

This leads to impatience. You want that accomplishment yesterday. In other words, you want the prize without paying the price. That just does not make sense.

I call this the fascination with Newton’s Third Law applied to the wrong place. Newton’s third law states that action and reaction are equal and opposite. That works great in your daily life. Simple things like you throw a ball at the wall and it will come back to you. You push someone and they will push you back – may be.

However, things will start getting messy when you start applying this to the wrong places. For example, building a personal brand may lead to a promotion. The action is building the personal brand and the reaction from the marketplace is the promotion. What is missing in the equation is the time lag. Action and reaction are equal and opposite but with a time lag. Forget the “time lag” part and you can get all confused.

In real life, you need to make investments in the right places first and also have the patience to wait for the results. You can, of course get lucky sometimes but that’s an exception – not the rule.

In summary – patience rules!!

You can listen to the audio here:


Illustration by Ming. Ming is the creator of the Fantasy Story webcomic. He is also a freelance illustrator, designer, painting instructor and occasional luxury car salesman. Ming is based in Penang, Malaysia. You can find him on twitter @Artmaker

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