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Patience is not always a virtue. Apathy, despair, or laziness can easily masquerade as patience and it can give people a ready-made excuse to not try their hardest or go after their dreams while they have the chance. They become complacent or let other entities take advantage of them.

Mindful patience is a virtue. This kind of patience is more like readiness. It is seeing your path laid out clearly before you and purposefully walking each step to get there in the moment instead of wishing you were at the end of the journey, and also realizing that the only way to get to the end of the journey is by walking each of these individual steps.

Some people, using patience as an excuse, never start walking their path because they are waiting on external variables to align and they want things to happen for them instead of working to make them happen for themselves. If you are driving your car across the state, there is no use in getting upset or bothered because you can’t reach your destination in the blink of an eye. You know it takes time. But you also know that you will never get there without your active engagement.

This is the paradoxical nature of mindful patience. You don’t try to force what needs time to develop but you also don’t just sit back and let events unfold without any participation. Consider your life circumstances, hopes, dreams, and aspirations. What are you doing to move them forward and turn them into reality? Have you bought into the myth that you have all the time in the world, that patience means if you stoically sit around long enough without complaining good things will happen to you? Or are you mindfully, purposefully, and actively working towards your ends without getting upset that they take time to come to fruition?