Chapter 7. Patience and Discipline

I was quiet for a while the following Wednesday. For the first thirty minutes of our meeting, we ordered, ate our food, and spent the entire time talking about the kids. I suspected Aunt Katherine was giving me time to digest before she came up with the hard questions. We both knew this was my most challenging behavior, or trait, to think about. Patient was the last thing I was. As a competitive athlete throughout my years in college, patience was the last thing I needed. I was aggressive, fast, and focused on being that way in my career as well. I believed that the early bird got the worm. After all, life is short. How could patience be an asset? Finally, Aunt Katherine looked at me. She asked me a question.

"What do you think of when you think of the word patience?"

I sat silently, mulling an answer. I counted silently to ten in an attempt to be patient.

"It's not a positive word," I blurted. "It's a slow word. Patience, slow, the turtle. Second place. I guess I'm geared to the opposite. I'm young, Aunt Katherine! Carpe diem, just do it, seize the moment, and all that! I want to achieve our goals now. I want to buy a new house someday soon, maybe get a sports car. You only live once."

She laughed. "Okay. . .."

"C'mon, what about patience is fun?"

"Patience isn't about fun, Michael, but it can be a very valuable trait. You think the world's great warriors didn't have patience? I suspect that many victories have come about because a leader patiently ...

Get The Elephant in the Room: Sharing the Secrets for Pursuing Real Financial Success now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.