What Stoicism Teaches Us about Patience

By Conqueror Team

“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

– Epictetus

We may see attributes of competence, perseverance, insight, and enthusiasm in people who live creative and empowering lives. What is often overlooked is an individual’s inner framework or set of rules that control their thinking and actions. How does one behave when a failure occurs or adaptation is required? What stories do they tell themselves? To put it another way, what is their philosophy?

Every person may benefit from a stoic mindset. It enables us to look at – and accept – the facts as they are, to reach the proper judgement calmly, and to administer justice in a courteous manner. Empathy can help us understand why people behave the way they do. That is a test of patience.

What does “be patient with those who don’t” mean?

Does this mean that we should admit defeat when competitors use deception to gain a contract? Or do we enable clients to fail to pay what is owed to us? Or do you turn a blind eye when vendors mislead you about their capacity to deliver?

What about misbehaviour by members of our company? Should we be patient if our own workers or agents go against our values?

This stoic commandment simply states that we should not be surprised or outraged when people violate our trust. We can scarcely expect to go through life without someone attempting to exploit us. So why be startled when it occurs?

A patient person can deal with stress and other emotions efficiently because they learn to manage their surroundings rather than allowing them to dominate them. People who are patient are less prone to suffer from depression and other negative emotions.

“The only thing that isn’t worthless: is to live this life out truthfully and rightly. And be patient with those who don’t.” – Marcus Aurelius

The Stoics were also good at avoiding getting carried away by emotions and thoughts. The “discipline of assent” is to resist the urge to do something you know you shouldn’t do. But, as you are aware, that is quite difficult.

Epictetus believed that the crucial moment was when you were deciding. Simply catch yourself when you’re about to act and merely postpone. You don’t have to grit your teeth and be a superman. Simply take a moment to reflect.

“I will keep constant watch over myself and, most usefully, will put each day up for review. For this is what makes us evil — that none of us looks back upon our own lives. We reflect upon only that which we are about to do. And yet our plans for the future descend from the past.” – Seneca, Moral Letters, 83.2

Patience brings a calm and pleasant frame of mind that refuses to be upset or annoyed by the seemingly sluggish pace of things. Even if problems beyond your control emerge and urge you to worry or respond violently, learning patience will allow you to stay calm and in control of such situations.

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