Patience is a Job
Diligently applied, it pays off
“Life is not always a matter of holding good cards, but sometimes, playing a poor hand well.” — Jack London, 1919
Let’s get something out of the way right up front: life isn’t fair.
You might do everything you can to prepare for something, but things still might turn out against you. That’s life.
This is where resilience comes into play. Finding the inner strength and the outer support to not only continue, but to learn and grow at the same time.
The sister virtue to resilience is patience. Resilience is about bouncing back, but in order to get to that point, we need to understand patience.
“You are even unluckier for being oblivious to the fact that you have the power of patience to deal with your difficulties. You forget the virtues of character you have in reserve, just when problems that they can control present themselves, and you could use their help.” — Epictetus, 135
The Captive Commander
James Stockdale was a commander in the U.S. Navy when he was captured by North Vietnam in the Vietnam War. He was held as a prisoner of war at Hỏa Lò Prison (the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”) after crashing on September 9, 1965.
He would not be released until February 12, 1973.
Stockdale endured torture and four years of solitary confinement, along with 10 other members of what became known as the “Alcatraz gang.” When asked about his coping strategy and about which prisoners didn’t make it out, Stockdale said: