Sunday, March 1, 2015

Patience: Some Things Take Time

We live in a day when many people expect immediate results and don't have time for the outdated principle of patience. The instant gratification and microwave mentality robs of developing attributes like patience, dedication, persistence, and faith, which are necessary to accomplish any worthwhile task.

The picture on the the right is of my son Kirk when he was about five years old and was just starting karate lessons. I remember the first couple years of practice were sometimes frustrating to watch and some of the classes I observed even bordered on pathetic. Some of the little kids in the class (including my own) would get their right and left mixed up and could not perform some pretty simple tasks.

My son regularly went to karate lessons several times a week with his brother and got better over time. As I would attend their various belt tests I found myself surprised at the new skills and abilities they had developed since I still imagined them as little boys in the back of my mind possessing more excitement than skill.

One thing that impressed me about their journey is the fact that the studio they attended was not a belt mill. I have seen some kids start martial arts and advance to the black belt level in a ridiculously short amount of time. Sometimes I secretly wished they had enrolled in one of those easy programs where they could be a Grand Master in 3 years and done with it. This was not the case for them and they kept plugging away for over 13 years.

Today they are both 3rd degree Black Belts and can do things I can only imagine. Here is a current picture of the same little boy shown above. If we did not add the ingredients of patience and time into their experience they never would have achieved success.

I could tell this same story for some of my other kids but could use music as their discipline. I have two other kids who started playing hardly discernible versions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on the violin and piano as little kids. They have continued practicing for over 15 years and today I love hearing them perform and they have both earned music scholarships to college.

I did not write this to just brag about my kid's accomplishments, but rather to remind us that some things take time. If you are plugging away at something and headed in the right direction, just keep doing it even if you don't see results as quickly as you'd prefer. Patience is becoming a lost art and we could all use more of it these days. Keep persisting in order to accomplish the things that are important to you and don't give up just because something takes longer than you would like..