–Time and tide wait for none.

How can you be patient, when you are told that things cannot wait?  I have always been confused about this. Should I go out to do things?  Or should I wait? There are no straightforward answers it seems.

Patience, grasshopper,” said Maia. “Good things come to those who wait.
“I always thought that was ‘Good things come to those who do the wave,'” said Simon. “No wonder I’ve been so confused all my life.”

― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

The more I have pondered about patience, I realize that it is an attitude. And it is action.

In my life, I have always associated patience with ‘let it go, let it flow’. I am not sure about others. Patience is resignation sometimes, and when we await the outcome, stress seems to be inevitable.


I am an impatient person. I was a topper in academics, and I was a decent performer in my corporate career. But I always felt that the outcome of my corporate career, which involves structures and people, has been less desirable than what I would have preferred.

A similar experience continues in my entrepreneurial journey, where despite the qualities that I possess I have failed more than succeeded.  I always feel that my performance is top class, but the end fruit is always less than desirable. Years have passed but things have not changed.

I stumbled across a psychic a few days ago. She asked me what was weighing on my mind. I told her about my nagging question.

‘What is missing that I am not getting the result I want?’ That was a simple question after all. I was not sure if she had any answers.

‘Did you wait for enough?’ I got a question back from her.

‘Things that should have happened, did not happen. Days have passed, yet the best thing I could do was to move to something else. Another job, another project, another client.’ I said. My answer was obvious. That was the most nagging question and the problem of my life.

The problem was not in one stream. It was everywhere in my life.

‘Is it only at work or elsewhere too?’ Her question was following my thoughts.

‘Everywhere. Perhaps, except one.’ I paused for a moment. My wife. My relationship with my wife had improved after a lot of ebbs and flows.

‘My wife.’ I said, but not willing to open up further to her.

‘So what worked with her?’ She moved forward with another question.

‘I was in my world and she was in hers. In fact, she suffered a lot even going through bouts of depression. I was to be blamed.  I was angry and I protested.  I did not want to carry the cross.  If I was busy at work or somewhere else, she could have found other means to keep herself busy. But she had issues, and it fell squarely on my shoulders. I was frustrated and angry. I was depressed myself.’  My throat dried and the old anger simmered through the surface.

She was oblivious of that but stayed on point. ‘Then what changed?’

‘I loved her and I had to make a choice. Move forward together or not. I chose to move forward together. She was more educated than me but did not do anything. I am told I am a genius and I felt that I was on a leash if I had to make things work.  It was either my marriage or the unlimited access to my life.  I could find a middle path.’ I felt proud when I made that last statement.

‘Middle path. It means that things are not perfect, but things are working.’ Her voice was encouraging.  I felt good that she did not open me up but just nudged me forward.

‘Today, we are in a better place. We spend more time with each other. We go out, talk stupid things, and watch nothing movies. The little things. But I will tell you that is certainly not the original me. No more crash-and-burn approach to life. I have become patient, let things move forward then try to chase them down, and take time for other things in the typical day.’ That sounded like a victory. I started feeling better.

‘Patience. Patience.’ Her words resonated in my ears. ‘Patience is the biggest virtue, brother.’

‘You worked things out. More importantly, you worked with the other person – the same person who you thought otherwise, yet here you are, talking about it as a ‘success’.’ She was right. I knew where this was heading. But I decided to be patient.

‘Patience, as you now realize, is not about waiting alone. It is about bidding for the time, keeping the right attitude, both inside and out, in right earnest. Earnestness is the key to patience. In adversity, patience is a key part of resilience. What you had thought would fall apart, is now your bedrock of life. Right?’ She sounded like a part of me. The answers were within me.

‘But…’ I still drawled.

‘But your life’s question still begs to be answered. I figured.’ Her prescience of my knowledge made me wonder if I had to ever reply.

‘Patience is such a virtue that it even overcomes time. It is the most powerful tool for success. Whether it is your personal life or professional, patience will be your ally in adversity. Patience is not about inaction, it is about timely action with an earnest attitude. If you could work through your marriage, you could work through other parts of your life, brother.’

‘I am not sure. But sometimes it takes a lifetime to figure things out. Giving up is not an option, I want things to work in those parts of my life where I have invested time, energy, and focus.’ I was more speaking to myself than to her.

‘Your earnest attitude is already in place. All you need to keep at it. I don’t think it is a motivation issue, it is about patience. Things will happen. It is your faith that gives your patience. So keep the faith, brother.’ Her words sounded very familiar, like one of those slogans I had read in a temple. But more importantly, she was right. I was earnest, and I am now.


My questions are still being answered as days pass in my life. I hope I can share the answers to the big question I am trying to figure out. I think about it once in a while, and when things are still promising but don’t finally happen.

It is frustrating and sometimes, I just want to give in and give up. I hate not knowing the answer. It feels like a journey without a destination. But the faith creeps in, somewhere, somehow.

Like the psychic pointed out, the answers lie within me. But it might just not be the time for them to reveal themselves. The day might come. I have to just be patient and keep the faith.

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present, you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet


Ashok Subramanian
Ashok Subramanian
Ashok Subramanian is a Poet and Fiction Author based in Chennai, India. Ashok has been writing blogs and content since 2011. From technology and management articles, and to website content, Ashok has written articles on businesses, finance, funding, capital markets, management, strategy, and sustainability over the years. His poems and articles, which were published in blogs got a publishing turn when he had time in hand to put together his poetry and short story collections. He publishes short stories and poetry reviews regularly in his blog. His published works so far: a) Maritime Heritage of India - Contributing Writer - b) Poetarrati Volume 1 &2: Self-published on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback; Ranked #8 in Amazon Hot Releases in May 2020. c) A City Full of Stories: A Short fiction Collection based on people and events of Mumbai: Self-published in Amazon in Kindle and Paperback. d) Poetarrati Ponder 2020 - A collection of Poem Reviews He is currently working with his creative advisor and publisher on his next poetry collection. His second short story collection about Kolkata, India, and his first novel are in the manuscript stage. He is a graduate in Engineering from Madurai Kamaraj University, India, and a post-graduate in Management from IIM Calcutta, India. He currently runs Strategic Advisory and Investment Banking companies headquartered in Bengaluru. He lives with his wife Gayathri and son Anirudh in Chennai, India.

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  1. I agree with this patience is a virtue. Sometimes when I’m impatient with people I will try to figure them out. What makes them tick. What life experiences have they had to make them the way they are. This helps me to better understand and be more patient. Sometimes I have to look within myself and my perceptions and ask why am I thinking the way I am? Do to my life experiences? I like to think we can agree to disagree which also allows me to have more patient as I am not trying to push my perspective on others. All good things come to those who wait. Great article and food for thought.

  2. Greetings Ashok

    All this insight from a psychic! Wow. Truth be told, some are not given enough credit… spiritual guides is more like it.. the truly connected

    The authenticity of spirituality Is always questioned by those without trust and that’s the key that unlocks the door of patience.

    I see the wisdom of spiritual guidance… and get a little excited that you have evolved… by truly letting go
    Self discovery in the bigger picture.. helps you climb up the ladder of faith. Deep are the Answers in the form of questions. To be honest…like an interview with yourself with God as the ultimate truth …

    “Your earnest attitude is already in place. All you need to keep at it. I don’t think it is a motivation issue, it is about patience. Things will happen. It is your faith that gives your patience. So keep the faith, brother.’ Her words sounded very familiar, like one of those slogans I had read in a temple. But more importantly, she was right. I was earnest, and I am now.”

    I have a strong conviction that without faith… one will always wait. Periodically try to make things happen and often get disappointed… because faith adds the value of your purpose and that is trusting the process
    Life is about the travelling.. through the journey of patience and acceptance of your purpose…To know you matter, have a right to be here, and that you make a difference. That you are needed, wanted and belong

    Hope is the earnest intention that relies on belief
    We then must submit completely to rely on faith.
    Trusting the process is complete surrender never giving up on the outcome meant for you. When you are ready… patience puts perspective in its place

    Patience waits for time to stop chasing the questions so it can deliver the answers. Peace is the outcome and so it continues. Life is not a race to finish, it is a journey… to experience. Earnestly is true intention… where patience is the mother excitedly awaiting to see you open your gift and discover what it means to find your presence

    Without trust…patience waits
    “Patience is such a virtue that it even overcomes time”

    Earnestly is the innocence of your soul in full surrender
    The more earnest you are.. the closer you are to your faith
    Trust holds you together and bridges the gap between patience and time

    That’s how I see it.. for now?
    I am open to my evolution with full belief that I am here for a reason
    If people need anything… they need a faith
    Otherwise they just exist and patience will wait until they discover how constantly chasing disappointments is down right exhausting Value has a different meaning to those with trust in a higher purpose

    Great share and well written my friend. I appreciate the wonders of life that bring us together and help each other

    “Write On”