Patience, practice and perseverance, these are the 3 Ps. These 3 Ps need to be your companions on any journey of personal growth. In fact, they need to become life-long companions. The more you travel with them, the greater your successes.
Patience : Patience has been described through the ages as the Mother of all virtues. We’ve come to refer to it as the Mother of wisdom. She who is able to wait, greeting her challenges with the inner knowing that the calm and reflective mind will always win through, remains in the loving embrace of wisdom. Wisdom is happy to wait because it has learnt through experience that waiting provides the sweetest fruits and the gift of certainty. It recognizes that impatience generates peacelessness and causes the mind to lose clarity and perspective and so where’s the benefit in that? However, for most, patience feels like a chore. We are easily fatigued by its request to keep waiting and yet, if we learn to wait, the vastness and the beauty of its promise offers unimaginable insights and joy. Patience is not a ‘tapping your fingers’ kind of waiting. It’s an understanding that the outcome you seek is assured to she who has faith (see Courage and Application are the Keys). So she who has really embraced patience busies herself doing the ‘right thing’, acting in accordance with her conscience and simply allowing the destination to take care of itself.
Practice : We are all familiar with the saying ‘practice makes perfect’, however, we flippantly use the phrase without truly grasping what it means. Yet if we look carefully at our own experience we will see how true this saying really is. She who practises will find that that which once seemed difficult, in fact even impossible, not only becomes attainable but can often even become easy. This is the promise of practice. The more we repeat an endeavour or activity the more we create neuronal pathways in the brain. This connecting of neurons in the brain is what forms patterns which eventually become habits and personality traits. In other words, we can think, speak and act our way into just about any mental position or desired activity and we can also think, speak and act our way out of those habits and patterns we want to remove. This is why it’s not enough to simply understand the myriad of self-help concepts, many of which do in fact work: one has to repeatedly put them into practice. This is the key (see Routine is Power).
Perseverance : We’ve all heard the saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again’. Why on earth should we? The reason is simple: the one who keeps knocking on the door of greater understanding, personal growth and happiness will find that this door will eventually open. The only reason it remains closed at all is our lack of patience, practice and perseverance. The door will always open to she who refuses to give up. The path of progress is one of peaks and troughs and so it’s important to understand the nature of relapse (see The Paradox of Progress – on the resources page). Whilst striving to reach a destination relapses are inevitable. However, relapses are not the enemy. They are often our best teachers. Whenever you find yourself falling off the path whilst striving to be the best you can be, always ask the question ‘what have you (the experience) come to teach me?’ You’ll be surprised by the answers. What you shouldn’t be surprised by is that the answers can sometimes take time to come (our friend patience again). Remember, all things eventually come to the door of she who waits.
The 3 Ps is a subject of great depth. Here we offer a brief summary in the hope that those who strive to reach their potential and to fulfill their life’s purpose will understand that with patience, practice and perseverance their journey will be made so much easier. Each of these qualities can be paired with a key word worth remembering. Patience is about waiting, waiting with an inner knowing that all will be well. Practice is about discipline, focusing with determination. Perseverance is about tenacity, the ‘never say die’ spirit. Keep these 3Ps close and you cannot fail in your endeavour!