A couple of years ago, I wrote about the life strategy of “Stand in the Traffic”. Shane Parrish in a recent Farnham Street newsletter item reminded me of the concept. His framing of the concept is “Active Patience”.
If you’ve not read about “Stand in the Traffic” as a life strategy, check out the original post:
On Active Patience
Patience in itself is not a negative trait. Patience is the ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset.
Patience is a necessary attribute for achieving long-term goals.
Patience can be divided into two forms: passive and active.
- Passive patience is waiting for something to happen without taking any action to bring it about.
- Active patience involves taking steps towards your goals while understanding that results may take time. This form of patience acknowledges the necessity of individual effort and also respects the nature of time.
Here is the Tiny Thought from the Farnam Street Blog:
“The least effective form of patience is passive: –
A person who is passively patient waits for the universe to give them what they think they deserve. Five years from now, they’ll still be waiting. Passive patience violates Newton’s third law, which states, ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
No action. No result.
The world isn’t indebted to you, and no one is destined to come your way, tap your shoulder, and present you with the golden opportunity you’ve been waiting for. It doesn’t work that way.
The most effective form of patience is active patience.
Active patience implies taking significant steps today to set yourself up for future success. It’s about strategically preparing for what lies ahead—saving more than you spend and investing wisely, developing the necessary skills for future job prospects, choosing kindness over cleverness, and so on.
Here is the key lesson: Active patience puts the world on your side. If you go positive and go first, and you do so consistently, the world does a lot of the heavy lifting for you.”
How can you Stand in the Traffic, or take a stance of Active Patience in your most important goals?