Society’s Problem With Patience & Why That’s Problematic


There has been such a radical shift in human
behaviour since the advent of the digital age that we seem to have forgotten one of
humanity’s time honoured traits: Patience.
Philosophers, writers, business leaders; there is a common belief that patience constitutes
one of a small handful of key ingredients to achieving success.
Patience is predicated on a simple belief, but a powerful one.
Patience is, in a sense, the simple recognition that things take time. That achieving greatness,
creating a masterpiece — it all takes time. It takes an ability & willingness to
be frustrated. To overcome difficulties. To persevere.
Since the digital age, more specifically since the smartphone became so ubiquitous, we have
seen an attack on the time-honoured institution of patience from two fronts:
1. Society promulgates the myth of “overnight” success
The examples of success readily available to us through the media or through anecdote
are almost always billed as being “overnight” successes.
We hear about companies like Uber, exploding in popularity within a couple of years. We
hear about the 21-year old founder now worth over $1 billion. We hear about a teenager
on The Voice reaching international stardom in a few weeks.
What we do not hear about, however, are the years of hard work, of practice, of working
in the void, with no audience & no encouragement. What we do not hear about, in short, is the
protagonist’s patience. And thus, when we consider our own inadequacy
& failure, we struggle to find the answers. Because we expect things to happen overnight.
Because we lack persistence. Because we are impatient.
2. Our brains are being re-wired by the constant distraction & interaction with digital devices
Our attention span is now down to 8 seconds, social media usage per day per American adult
is now above 2.5 hours, we tap our phone 2,617 times a day.
Social media & smart home usage is not only a drain on time, but it also changes the very
chemical make-up of the brain, which, it must be remembered, is a malleable organ that’s
development is ongoing, even in adulthood. We have trained ourselves to focus in such
short bursts, to switch tasks so regularly, to master the art of busying ourselves, that
many of us are almost entirely incapable of selecting a single goal & pursuing that goal
with persistence, with patience. And so, our time-honoured respect for patience
has started to fade, to be lost to history. And with it we have lost so much of humanity’s
potential to create great works of art. The great novels never written, the perennial
films never conceived, the world-changing companies that were never given enough time.
War & Peace, arguably the greatest novel ever written, took Tolstoy 6–8 years to conceive,
to develop, to write & re-write. That’s a man that knows the value of patience.
And not just of persisting in order to write a novel of that length & complexity.
Tolstoy also clearly had a great awareness of the nuanced outcomes of patience as well.
Beyond persistence, he understood that ideas take time to develop. That you need to write
a first version to get the breakthroughs & the insights that will make the next version exceptional.
And respect to the man. He took a risk, dedicating nearly a decade to something with no clear
idea of what the novel may become or what the finished product would look like. He just
worked hard, took his time, remained patient. And it paid off, with War & Peace being labelled
the masterpiece of Russian literature by other renowned writers of the period (and many since).
Tolstoy may be an exceptional example of the fruits borne of patience, but the lessons
to take away are relevant for everyone, regardless of your goals in life.
If you want to create great work that is perennial, then you must learn to shake off the residual
belief that patience is no longer important, that it’s had its day.
Remember that the best ideas, the breakthroughs, the masterpieces — all of them take
time, they take work, they evolve & develop. So when thinking about that next career move,
that new relationship, that new business: Bide your time & be a little more patient.

49 thoughts on “Society’s Problem With Patience & Why That’s Problematic

  1. "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet" – Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Book mentioned in this video:

    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    BUY THE BOOK ON AMAZON: http://geni.us/1pHsAo

  2. One problem with patience is that many people use it as an excuse to not better them selves saying that they are just being patient.

  3. Oh man!! I’m so glad that you talked about this because this is what most of us are lacking including me! Thanks to Gary V! He opened my eyes again! 🙂

    Thank you for this!

    Winny out… for now 😉

  4. May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself…

  5. Excellent video! The lack of patience is the result of our crave for instant gratification. We can solve this problem by learning the benefits of meditation and actually practice it on a daily basis.

  6. Patience is something that I have lacked for the majority of my life. As you mentioned, I would always hear about those that would have “quick” results and wonder how I could achieve that. Such foolish thinking! We need to learn to love the process! In the end, we will get to where we wish to be so long as we are consistently doing it!

  7. Instant gratification is now a selling point to many businesses. 2-day shipping, pizza delivery under 30 min, just one click away!
    No wonder the people raised in that environment feel confused and lost when they pursue a goal that's worth something but
    Don't get it after a few weeks, months, or even years
    If you're interested, my channel does animations to bring value on Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Stop by if you have the time 🙂

  8. Incredible content. I'm glad I found your channel. Hope to binge through rest of your videos and shoot back my thoughts over email. I admire you. Great work!

  9. One of the best channel I ever found on YouTube…thanks for all these great videos..never ever stop making them..🤗😍

  10. With everyone living in the world of instant gratification, patience has become scarce. This is why people who can gain this "skill" are more likely to succeed!

  11. Yep! Patience has been all but forgotten by most people in this day and age. However, patience is one of the key skills that everyone needs in order to be good at dealing with life. The rise of the digital era means we have way more things to pay attention to than ever before. And the simple act of paying attention to so many things, or multitasking, lowers our patience as well as our attention spans. We want everything and we want everything NOW!

  12. I love your videos because they are rich in eloquent words. They develop my character as well as my English vocabulary. Really thanks for your high-quality videos. It is very obvious your hard work and the precise choice of words exquisitely.

  13. I've been working on improving my patience over the years, I have always been a fast-paced person. I I actually about a school bus last year and converted it into an RV, and we named it patience because it is so slow and I'm an impatient driver

  14. In my opinion, this is one of the most powerful and enlightening videos currently on Youtube over all, and in my life. Would you be willing to create a video that goes into detail, for example, about how one could hone the art/ability to 'be willing to be frustrated' in regard to cultivating patience, maybe with some simple, daily tasks/routines? If you've already produced one, would you please reply with the link(s)? I'm sure my request sounds trite to some, but I do believe that from my almost constant interaction with electronics – and I don't even have a Twitter/Snapchat/LinkedIn account and only log in to my Facebook account twice a month on average – that I've all but forgotten 'how' and 'why' patience is a necessary personality trait; just ask my GF, lol! Thanks for all your help and instruction. Love this channel!

  15. Your point is spot on. 1 and 2 are also linked to why depression can increase when using social media too. It's because you only see the end result (as per 1) rather than the reality behind it. It takes a lot of work and when you don't see the process, the expectation and perspective becomes skewed and unrealistic. Fantastic video.

  16. Yes, people, in general, have problems with patience, but this came off as a "blame smartphones/technology" video as the opposed to the long-standing problems with patience and persistence that has always plagued humanity.

  17. Would you say it is okay to work towards multiple goals at once? I have trouble picking just one single goal. I'm interested in learning a new language, learning piano, singing, videography, and getting into shape for example. This can stress me out on knowing which to focus on.

  18. patience is just like a chocolate tree.
    the young fruit taste bitter, but when it's ready to harvest, its so sweet. and if u produce the fruit into the Chocolate and it will taste even better. like patience and hardwork and consistency. just mix it and it will make a very nice coctail of success

  19. Another problem with the distractions of technology is that you don’t actually pick up the other things necessary to success- skills. Tolstoy could’ve been patient all he wanted, but he also had to develop his skill as a writer. I worry for my nephews as I’m watching them grow up. They are not gathering many life skills or craft skills or anything. It makes me wonder how many of their peers will be the same and how it will affect society at large.

    DISCLAIMER I know that skills can be inferred in the “years of hard work” mentioned in the vid, but it was never explicitly stated.

  20. yea hold on a minute. your video only includes one opinion. not everyone doesn't have patience due to phones, people don't have patience due to many things if they aren't interested in what they are doing they aren't going to have patience and it's not just because of phones you all think it's worse in the younger generation not having a concept of patience that's dumb we do and you think it's phones that isn't true we don't have patience when it comes to idiots and stupid decisions we don't just loose patience because of phones that is incorrect.

  21. In this digital era is there a way we kan just foccus on one goal for a long period of time without having to elliminate all our devices ?

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