A bright sunny day. Cyprus weather is just ideal this time of the year. Perfect for something outdoors. We decided to head out to Macheras mountains to have a family picnic. Once we had settled down, my kids decided to head for the kids area to play. After we had enjoyed a few beers, I joined my kids. I’ve been wanting to talk to my elder son who is 8 now about something which was bothering me. So I thought this was the perfect opportunity to have a chat with him. I sit on the swing next to him and just as I’m about to start my conversation, my son said something which completely took me by surprise.
He say’s Daddy, do you know something. “Patience is the Key to Life”.
Now, I’m a bit of a philosopher myself, but I dint expect this from my 8 year old. So I decided to probe a bit further. As we started discussing this there were things which he said which were so simple, yet powerful, that I couldn’t help write about it. What follows is a summary of what he told me.
We are like a tree. Just like the tree has roots which help it grow, patience in us helps us grow. If you have patience, a magical key appears in your hands. This magical key can open up any doors you want. Doors to things you want in life. The leaves of a tree are nice , but sometimes they dry and fall or wind blows them away. However if the roots are strong, it can grow back the leaves. Similarly there are many things on our lives which are nice to have and we may lose them. If our hearts (read roots) are strong, we can always have these things again in our lives. But we must learn to be patient. That’s why Patience is the Key to Life.
This brief conversation with my son left me thinking about this for a while and reminded me of a few things
Be strong at your Core
This is true in every aspect of your life. When life shakes you up, what keeps you going are your core beliefs and values. If your core is strong, you find it much easier to overcome the challenges of your life. If you look closely at your life, where you are today is because of a few core beliefs you have within you. When you are training your body, there is a lot of importance given to your core and without a strong core, its not possible to have a strong body. Even in the corporate world, marketing gurus talk about “core competencies”. It simply means that organizations need to focus and build on leverage their strengths to succeed. Just like the root of a tree helps it withstand rough weather, our core helps us be steady in the midst of tough times.
Know what’s important in your life
Although this sounds like a simple question, it’s a very difficult for many to answer. Most people I have asked what’s important in their lives, don’t hesitate to say “My Family”. However the irony is that although they claim it’s the most important, that’s very often the most neglected parts of their lives. The pressures of modern living has dramatically reduced the time we spend with our families. The reasons given are many and you can read an interesting article on this here. Social media sites, what’s app groups are full of inspirational and heartfelt messages on how technology has impacted our lives. However for some reason, we are more keen to watch them and forward them rather than contemplate on them. Spend time thinking through what really matters to you. If it is your family, then make sure your life revolves around that, not the other way round. The leaves in your life may make you believe that your life is about achievement, success, progress and money. All these may be blown away almost instantly and you can get them back. If your roots are uprooted however, you may never be able to get back up again.
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One thing I have observed about the current generation is their lack of patience. So I was really happy to hear my kid say that “Patience is the key of life”. Let’s face it. Patience is not something which comes easily to most of us. I have often been told that I have a lot of patience, especially when it comes to dealing with people. The fact of the matter is that whether you have patience or not, it does not matter. Anything that happens, will happen when the conditions are right. A flower will bloom when it has to, you will lose weight when you burn more calories than you consume and you will reach your goal when you have put in the effort it demands. We can either get frustrated and irritated and complain that things are not happening soon enough or we can continue to focus on our work.
I was prepared today to teach my son a thing or two about life. Instead, he reminded me about things which I had forgotten about life. It’s true when they say that “You are never too old to learn and never too young to teach”. Thank you son!