Rule # 12 – Patience And Persistence (Take A Long-Term View)

The twelfth rule of being a man is:

Have patience and persistence (take a long-term view)

As a man you must have patience and persistence. You need to take a long-term view of things. Understand that great things, things worth having, take time.

Any great accomplishment took time. Building the Hoover Dam or Mount Rushmore each took an enormous amount of time and effort.

That time and effort actually started long before the first worker showed up with a shovel. It started with a dream and the persistence to get others to buy into that dream and then it required great patience to design and plan everything out.

Finally, a lot of persistence was required to accomplish the dream and actually build those projects. There were setbacks along the way that required patience to overcome and persistence to persevere and not give up.

Any great accomplishment requires great patience and great persistence. The amount of patience and persistence required is usually related to the greatness or value of the goal.

This is true of building things, growing a business, mastering a skill or sport, and developing wealth.

It’s also equally true when it comes to building relationships.

Great relationships require patience and persistence as well. Getting the woman of your dreams requires patience and persistence. If you don’t have patience, you may settle for a relationship that’s less than the best you could have.

If you don’t have persistence, you may not convince the woman of your dreams to ever go out with you in the first place.

Patience and persistence are just as necessary even once you’re in a relationship. Patience to handle situations where you’re unhappy (like that fight you just had) and persistence to work through the challenges and keep building a stronger relationship.

Without the persistence to finish a job or achieve a goal or build a relationship, you’ll end up with a life filled with unrealized potential and half-done projects.

You’ll have lots of “almosts” and “could’ve hads” in your life. What you won’t have are the achievements, accomplishments, and relationships that set you apart from average and make you proud.

This is one area I especially struggle with. Patience does not come easy for me at all. My lack of patience has caused me many troubles in my life. However, I’m proud to say that I’m working on myself in this area and I’m learning and getting better about it now.

Persistence is also tough for me. When I have a goal, something that’s important to me, I can work tirelessly towards it. This is true, for example, when I’m building something new or learning something new.

But once I’ve kind of figured something out, once I’m past the fast ramp-up portion of the learning curve, and I feel like I know it well, it’s then that I often lose interest. I can see what it takes to master but I don’t naturally stick with the persistence it takes to achieve mastery.

I think patience and persistence are challenges for most people, most men, and I know they certainly are for me.

But it’s important for you to take the long view and have patience and persistence.

One of the biggest things that separates humans from animals is that we humans have the ability to plan for the future. We understand that investing now, saving now, or working hard now can pay off even bigger in the future.

Animals don’t work out to get stronger. They don’t save up for the long-term future (yes some “save” for the future but not for years into the future). Certainly they don’t understand the concept of compound interest!

But we humans do.

You understand that working hard now, saving, and investing will pay off in the future.

You also understand that doing the right thing, being there for your children, giving support to your wife or girlfriend, and going the extra mile at work are all examples of things that will pay off in the long run.

That’s what I mean by taking the long-view.

You have to take the long view and put off short term gratification for long term success.

Sure it’s easier to sleep in than to get up early and exercise. Of course it’s tempting to eat that ice cream instead of skipping it. Man it can be hard to bite your tongue and stay supportive when instead you really want to say, “I told you so.” Everyone understands the feeling of wanting to go home at 5 instead of staying to finish the work you promised to have done tomorrow.

Those decisions and so many more like them present themselves to us every day.

If you take the short-term gratification, the easy way out, you’re robbing yourself of the bigger and better long-term payoff.

Instead, if you do the right thing, if you take the long-term view, you’ll be better off in the end and you’ll be proud of yourself for the choices you made.

You must take the long-term view of life. Plan now, work now, exercise now. Then use your persistence to keep making progress, keep growing, keep getter better, and keep accomplishing more.

When the tough times come, and they will, your patience will get you through and in the end you’ll do, be, and have the things you want.

Take the long view, exercise persistence, and practice patience, and you’ll be a better man.

– Weston Henry


What are the things you struggle with that more patience and persistence would help?

Are there areas of your life that taking the long view would improve?