All of us know what it’s like to be impatient for good things to happen. When we’re kids, we say we “can’t wait” for the holidays or some other special occasion we’ve been anticipating. But the ability to wait is an important part of becoming an adult. In fact, the ability to delay our need for immediate gratification, so that we can enjoy something even better down the road, is a critical part of nearly every success story.
What’s more, there are very few overnight successes. When success does happen, it is usually a product of sustained effort over the long haul. The rewards we receive in life are usually a direct result of the contributions we make, and parents who teach their children otherwise are doing them no favor. Persistence and resiliency are valuable qualities to own, because we never know when some obstacle may show up.
If our young children believe that the world owes them a living, or that they are entitled to feel happiness and pleasure without having to do anything to earn it, why are we so surprised when they turn to drugs or alcohol when they get a little older? Or when they marry and then quickly divorce because they aren’t having as much fun as they had hoped?
Stop and think for a minute. Do you find that you value more what you have worked to make happen? When you have really worked to make a goal come to fruition, is your level of satisfaction higher or lower?
Yes, patience is a virtue and one that can be learned. Even better, persistence in working toward worthwhile long-term goals, and patience in waiting for it all to work out, are a couple of the best ways to guarantee lasting happiness.