“Just a little patience” – Axl Rose (Well, Izzy Stradlin really, but who would remember it without Axl?)

Patience: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset

I get asked the following question a lot so I thought I’d answer it publicly.

“Dino, what is the one thing that a person must have if they want to be financially successful?” The answer?  Many things. But if I had to pick one, it would be patience.

A lack of patience puts you in a bad place, not just financially, but in everything you do. If you are not patient, you automatically and autonomically change your goals without even being aware of it.

Sure, you may think your goal is to negotiate a great price for yourself on a new purchase. But in truth, a lack of patience automatically turns your goal into “finishing the process quickly.” You may not recognize that. You may not feel it happening. But I can assure you that it is happening. Not only that. Each time you show a lack of patience in negotiation (or anything else), you are reinforcing one of the most damaging processes there is.

A lack of patience has become a universal affliction. We see it in government. We see it in business. We see it in communities and we see it in people. Usually, the only place that we don’t see it is in ourselves. The interesting thing is that other people see it clearly in you. Even when they don’t, they make an educated bet that you do not have patience. You don’t believe me?

Why do you think you have to push buttons and wait on hold to get “customer service”?

Why do you think the salesman at the car dealership asks you to wait while he “speaks with a manager”?  Why do you think he repeats that process each time anything new comes up?

Why does a realtor tell a buyer “this house won’t last” without mentioning how long it has already lasted?

You know why. Because they are playing the percentages with you. Because most likely it will work. And if it doesn’t? They’ll try again next time because eventually you will succumb to your lack of patience. At some point, you will have the process dictate to you rather than you dictating the process. Isn’t that sad? Not just what people do to you but what you do to people.

You do it too. If you want something or are selling something, you use the same technique because you inherently know that it works. And it is in this way that we all participate in the perpetuation of the lack of patience in society. If you want to learn patience you better figure out how to do it. You must start by being patient with yourself. You need to not criticize yourself for being whatever it is that you keep telling yourself that you are. You need to learn to be able to enjoy the process. Life is filled with ups, downs and sometimes sideways. That’s the fact. Start by accepting that and go from there. Try yoga or meditation or tai chi or visualization. It is sometimes comical when I suggest that and the response I get is “I don’t have time for that”. Yup….and here we are and here we will be until you do.

In the meantime, make a deal with yourself. Any time you decide to buy something, do this. Resolve to walk away from any deal, product or service in which the salesperson uses the lack of patience technique on you. And one more thing… keep this in mind and use it regularly “If you need an answer today, the answer is no.” Doing this will most likely make you very uncomfortable. Good! That is a sign of true change happening. And remember, your job is not to end the process as quickly as you can. Your job, is to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. If you can master that, then you have something that no one would ever be able to sell you.