Impatience is a destructive and negative force. You focus on what you can’t get now, and thus distort the present
moment. Instead of being content or working right now, you think about future and have thoughts full of negative emotion. You ask the wrong questions which position you in the wrong direction: “Why not yet?” “How long?“
What good are they? They don’t bring you an inch closer to fulfilling your desire. They just tease you and put you off balance.
The ‘How long?’ question is especially dangerous. It assumes that there will be some finish line, a relief, the point of no tension, enjoyment of comfort, etc.
Firstly, it makes you painfully aware of your present circumstances which are all but comfortable. You start feeling uneasy in your own skin, losing the attitude of gratitude and focusing on your shortcomings.
You also get unreasonable expectation which will deepen your unhappiness once you actually reach your goal. You will feel elated… for a minute or ten.
Afterwards the reality will be back. It will be just a single milestone on your long journey. You will face another mile with its hardships and obstacles. Your expectations will bite you back. After feeling high, you will feel even lower.
Impatience is an adversary of perseverance
The ‘false expectations’ cycle I described above is one of the main reasons people quit. I know because I went through it so many times.
Overcoming the pain and moving on is relatively easy. The whole existence is painful and we are used to it. We can grit our teeth and keep slogging, which is what a majority of the population do in their jobs daily.
It’s much more difficult to taste success for a brief moment and then go back to reality. It’s a bit easier when the success was unexpected. When my book – Master Your Time In 10 Minutes a Day, sold several hundred copies in the first month after its date of publication, I was stunned. I totally didn’t anticipate that. I didn’t sell as many copies of my 4 previous titles within 7 months.
Impatience takes success for granted
Yes, I took my foot from the gas pedal a bit, enjoying my newfound ‘fame and wealth’. Yes, going back to writing another book wasn’t pleasurable. Yes, the moderate success of my next book was more discouraging at the time, than were all of my books which were flops. I had sold 100 copies in 2 months and wasn’t satisfied with that; but my first 2 books needed half a year to sell as many copies!
However, it was nothing compared to how I felt when I experienced success and took it for granted. I published a book each in January and April 2015, and they both sold about 1,000 copies within the first month. When my third book this year sold “just” 200 copies, I was devastated. I contested the whole sense of my hustle. It was the first book since December 2013 on which I actually lost money. This time I lost almost $800, not $38, and it hurt. I was out of my mind because of impatience.
Impatience is a force of destruction
Think about your attitude toward patience. It’s annoying, isn’t it? It’s all of this idle waiting. Its unproductive time were you don’t get your results, and can be boring.
Nope. It’s an adversary of impatience. If impatience is a killer of success, patience is success’ breeder. Embrace patience as your ally.
I had no attitude problems when I sold just 145 copies of my books in the first 5 months. Why? Because I was patient. I was writing and publishing not for the sake of money or even impact, but for the sake of writing and putting my work out there. I remember how stoked I was when I sold 197 copies in January 2014. I earned 2% of my salary and was like: “OK, now it’s just a matter of publishing 50 times more books and I’d quit my job.” It was only a matter of time. Time was my ally, as well as patience.
It changed when I started chasing the results, and got impatient. No matter if I sold 300 or 990 copies I was not satisfied. Impatience killed my success, because my success is “a steady pursuit of a worthy idea.” I stopped focusing on the present journey, and started dwelling on the abyss between where I was and where I wanted to be. In effect, I lost my heart for all the hustle.
Vaccine for impatience: daily action
The only thing which I hung on were my daily disciplines. I was patient with them and still wrote every day. I still interacted on social media and blogs, learned new things, and also still read and prayed.
When you act, the results must come. My book on stories of perseverance has done not too badly; 400 copies sold in a little over two weeks. And I have more books and more projects in the queue. Some of them will be flops, while others will be unexpectedly beneficial. I will discover which would be which with time and patience.
Impatience poisons the mind
It’s like self-pity or blaming others. It occupies your brain like an enemy army. You dwell on things in the distant future and waste the only power you really have- the power to act in the current moment. This power, is the essence and source of your every accomplishment, but you fail to use it because you are absorbed by the poison of impatience.
Snap out of it!
The future will come. You will have to face terrible things. You will achieve your goals, months or years after the deadline. You will fail. People will die. It doesn’t change the fact that you can only act here and now. Overthinking the future will not improve the current situation AND will negatively impact this future, because you are not working now on creating a better tomorrow for yourself.
9 thoughts on ““The twin killers of success are impatience and greed.” — Jim Rohn”
Very wise counsel, thanks Michael!
You’re welcome Liam.
Wow this really hits home Michal, thanks.
So, take the lesson home Sean 😉
You can only act here and now.
Very nice .
I’m glad you liked it Ravi.
Thank you for this reflection, Michal.
Well done on homeschooling initiative. I did that for a while, but not with the success you have had. Your children are fortunate to have a father with his eyes open. I had one too.
Your thoughts remind me that each day I might do well to remember, while hearing the criticism of my last task or seeing the obstacle in my immediate future, that distractions obscure the big picture. Fog will often hide the horizon from the beach, or mist the mountain top from the valley, yet those treasures are still there. And my potential remains in all of my moments, and hidden, unless I take the ground.
Keep hustling.You do hustle very well. You are GOOD at hustle.
Thank you so much. It’s exactly what I needed. Feeling pressured and rushing to be a better writer made me almost hate writing, which felt like a religion all my life. I guess I need a few days to slow down and stop being overly critical. Thanks again for sharing this great article! 🙂
You’re most welcome my friend.
I think those few days are a great idea 😉