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Patience is the ability to wait for an outcome without becoming annoyed, upset, or angry.
Patience is one personal characteristic that can put you in direct control of yourself. This is beneficial because there is no more powerful aid to success than self-possession.
When you’re patient, you offer yourself the necessary time to choose how to respond to any given situation, rather than becoming overwhelmed by your emotions. It allows you to stay put together no matter what is happening.
When you’re able to find inner peace when things aren’t going your way, you’ve achieved the gift of patience. In this article, we will look at nine stories about having patience in life that can inspire you to exercise self-control.
Let’s get started.
Once there was a king who got lost while traveling alone in a forest. As night started to fall, he looked around from a hilltop, but didn’t see any people or villages nearby.
After some time, he noticed a light shining from a long distance. He started to walk toward it and eventually reached a hut where he found an old lady cleaning up.
Seeing him, she welcomed him, thinking that he was a soldier from the army. She offered him some water to clean himself and drink. She then made a bed for him to lie down.
She gave him a plate of hot rice and curry, and he was so hungry that he quickly grabbed the hot food, which burnt his fingers, causing him to spill some rice on the floor.
The old lady noticed and exclaimed, “Oh, you’re too impatient like your king! You have burnt your fingers and lost some food!”
The king was surprised and responded, “Why do you think our king is impatient?”
The old lady explained, “Our king has a big dream of capturing all his massive enemy forts and he is ignoring all the small forts.”
The king interrupted by asking, “What is the problem with that?”.
She smiled and replied, “The king’s impatience to defeat the enemies resulted in the loss of men in his army, just like your impatience resulted in the loss of your food. Instead, if you eat the cooler food at the edge of your plate first and then make your way to the center, you wouldn’t have burnt your fingers or wasted your food.
Similarly, the king should focus on the small forts to strengthen his position so he can capture the massive forts without losing his men in the army.”
The king understood his mistake and recognized that patience and avoiding making haste in any situation is important.
Being impatient and looking for quick results will not always end in success. When we want to achieve something in life, it is best to first understand the process and then work toward it.
There was once a family of four who moved away from a beautiful village and into the city to start a business. With their little savings and financial help from their friends, they opened a store.
On opening day, there were no customers. Weeks went by and still no customers came to visit the store. However, during this difficult time, the family held onto hope.
The husband would work in the shop from early in the morning to late at night and only have one meal per day while he was trying to achieve his dream.
Two months after opening, the family finally had their first customer. The owner treated his customer with great respect and offered quality products.
After a few weeks, he started receiving more customers to his shop. Through word of mouth, his first customer had told his friends about their store and the customer service he had received.
There was no looking back for the shop owner after his first customer.
Twenty years since he started, the business has grown and now has multiple locations across the city. His son and daughter also started managing his business.
To this day, the man wakes up early to go to work and stays until the day is over. Because the family was patient and never gave up, they were able to create a successful family business.
While time can test our patience, we should never let ourselves down by giving up. It is important to develop a “never-give-up” attitude and build patience to become successful.
Feeling a bit low or facing challenges in life? Take a moment to watch this video:
At the depths of a large mountain, in a widespread labyrinth of tunnels was the home of a horrible creature named Kraton. He had been imprisoned there after terrorizing the local people.
The labyrinth had only one entrance and exit, and seeing as it was magic, it changed its position every day.
One day a wicked man named Jafa arrived in the land who wanted to rule over all the King’s people. He was in such a hurry to become a ruler that as soon as he heard of the Kraton, he decided he wanted to free the creature to help him with his plans, no matter how dangerous the monster was.
Jafa and his slaves traveled to the mountain that housed Kraton. His slaves were so afraid of Jafa that they didn’t take long to find the entrance to the labyrinth. In fact, one of the slaves found out how to know the location of the exit each day, from outside, once Jafa was inside the mountain.
The slave explained to Jafa, “When you’re exiting the labyrinth, you must wait until it’s nighttime.”
However, Jafa didn’t care for this advice. He entered the labyrinth and started calling for the monster, explaining to the monster his intentions. Jafa would free him from the labyrinth if, in return, Kraton would be at Jafa's service, terrorizing the people there for at least ten years.
After several days, they found each other amid the blackest darkness, and there they cemented their terrible pact. Following Jafa's slave’s advice, they soon found the way out. Upon approaching the exit, they noticed bright sunlight that shone through the cracks.
Jafa remembered his slave’s advice. He sat down to wait, but the beast, seeing itself free at last, was impatient and ignored their agreement, running out of the labyrinth.
From inside, Jafa heard Kraton’s terrible screams of agony, and ran out to see what had happened to the beast.
As soon as the sun touched the Kraton’s and Jafa's faces, the sunlight and the light of a thousand mirrors that the slave had placed around the exit to illuminate the spot, entered their eyes.
But because they had been in darkness for days, their eyes were defenseless to the light, leaving the impatient pair blind for the rest of their lives.
Both evil beings, now blind, clumsy and impatient, remained punished forever in a life of darkness, along with other creatures of the night.
Even if you have been waiting for something to happen for a long time, don’t rush at the last minute to make it come to fruition. Continue to take your time and proceed with care.
There was once a boy who loved mangoes. He had one and decided that he wanted to be able to eat unlimited mangoes, so he planted the seed in his yard.
The next day, he dug up the seed to see if it had started to grow. It looked the same as it did the day before.
Every day after that, he kept digging up his mango seed to see if it had made any progress, but it wasn’t growing.
What the boy didn’t realize was that the seed would not germinate if it was taken out of the dirt every day.
Once the boy learned this, he eventually saw his mango tree sprout. While it took a lot of time and patience to produce any fruit, the boy realized that his impatience in the beginning was just prolonging the process.
Both effort and patience are essential in order to have great success.
There were once two friends who decided they wanted to embark upon a weight loss journey together. Both had been overweight for many years and they were ready to get healthy.
However, they had different ideas about how they wanted to go about doing this. One of the women wanted to lose weight quickly, as summer was coming and she wanted to look good on the beach. While this was tempting to the other woman, she wanted to make a long-term life change that wasn’t so drastic.
The first woman had quick success, losing ten pounds in just two weeks by strictly limiting her diet. Her friend, on the other hand, had only lost three pounds in the same amount of time by eating healthy meals and exercising.
Weeks later, the first woman had stopped losing weight and was miserable living with her limited diet. She decided she could no longer live like this and wanted to return to her old ways.
Six months later, while the first woman had regained all of the weight that she had lost, the second woman, who maintained a slow and steady pace, had achieved her goal weight and was happy and satisfied with her everyday diet.
It takes work to achieve long-term results and they will not happen overnight. With determination, self-control, and delayed gratification, patience can offer a big payout in the long run.
One afternoon, a mother and daughter were trying to organize a closet when they came upon some old knitting needles. The little girl quickly snatched them up and eagerly asked her mother to teach her to knit.
The mother thought this would be a great activity for the pair to do together. The mother imagined the pride in her daughter’s eyes as she finished her first scarf. She could even envision it pulled up around her daughter’s face with only her bright eyes showing through.
The two began their project. But as her daughter took the knitting needles in her hands, the mother could feel herself stiffen as she watched her slowly tangle the yarn into a knotty mess. The mother wanted to correct her because she was getting impatient.
As the mother tried to explain over and over, both she and her daughter were growing impatient. The daughter became more frustrated as the mother silently debated what to do. Then she told her she would be right back and she walked away.
Walking away was the best thing she could have done because she realized that this was not a lesson about knitting, but a lesson in patience. It made her realize how frequently she was rushing her children to learn something or do something right.
The mother realized that she expected her children to be able to grasp concepts and skills that adults see as being so simple and straightforward, only to find that her children usually get frustrated because they can’t do everything her way and fast enough.
While it is hard to know what to do when you get caught up in these moments when your patience is slipping away. But it’s important to be calm, gentle, unwavering, and tolerant when the going gets rough.
Being patient is about being steadfast and composed as you strive to make progress toward your ultimate goal, no matter what that may be.
There was once a farmer who would wake up early to plow his fields every morning. Just before the monsoon season, he planted plenty of seeds to ensure a good crop that year.
But the farmer waited and waited and the monsoon never came. The farmer decided to water the seeds himself. He would carry buckets of water every day from the village and bring them back to his seeds. Despite others laughing at his efforts, the farmer persevered and continued to water his crop.
After a few weeks, the farmer saw the first shoots of his seeds. His patience had paid off and he went and told all of the villagers, who were surprised at the bounty of produce that the farmer was able to produce.
The level of patience may vary from person to person, but it is often surprising just how much having patience can pay off in the long run.
There were once two companies in the business of selling toothpaste and toothbrushes for adults. A few years into their businesses, there was a high demand in the market for toothbrushes for kids.
Both the companies realized that the company who came out with a kids’ product first would have a higher probability of dominating the market.
Company A took a logical approach rather than doing field research and released a toothbrush that was smaller than an adult toothbrush with thinner bristles. They designed and launched this product within a few weeks.
On the other hand, Company B did extensive field research, observing hundreds of children brushing their teeth and holding their toothbrush. They also took feedback from the children directly related to their preferences.
After the research, Company B decided that children need toothbrushes that are similar to adults when it comes to the length of the handle, but with the addition of some grooves and smaller bristles because kids cling to the toothbrush rather than holding it in their fingers like adults do.
So, instead of making a toothbrush with a small handle, Company B created a toothbrush with a long handle to help children hold the brush effectively. They also added various colors and cartoon characters to the toothbrush to make it more attractive for kids.
After launching the toothbrush in the market, they sold a record number of their product within a few months, dominating the market and increasing their market share.
It’s important to have patience in building knowledge and understanding what is required to achieve a goal. The quality time that is spent in the initial stages of reaching a goal will help you gain confidence in the long run.
Avoid shortcuts, as it will only provide instant success that will quickly fade away. To maintain success consistently, you need to have patience.
One evening, a New York City taxi driver arrived at his last pickup for his shift. After honking and waiting a few minutes, the passenger hadn’t come out yet. Because he had had a long day, he considered leaving a few minutes later. Instead, he parked his taxi and went to knock on the door.
He heard an old lady’s voice yell, “Just a minute.”
A small woman in her 90’s eventually answered the door and kindly asked the taxi driver, “Could you carry my bag?“
The cab driver walked the lady and her bags to the cab. Once there, she handed the driver an address and asked if they could drive through downtown.
“It’s not the shortest way,” The driver answered.
The lady then told him that she wasn’t in a hurry, as she was headed to a hospice facility. She said, “I don’t have any family left and my doctor says I don’t have very long.”
The driver then turned off the meter and asked which route she wanted him to take.
For the next two hours, the taxi driver and the lady drove through the city. She had the driver go by her former place of employment, a house where she once lived, and her old dance studio.
There were even some parts of the town where she asked the taxi driver to slow down so she could sit in silence, staring into the darkness.
After a few hours, the lady requested to go to her destination, saying she was tired.
When they arrived at their destination, two nurses came out to the cab to retrieve the lady with a wheelchair.
She asked the driver, “How much do I owe you?”
“Nothing,” he responded.
“I must owe you something,” she persisted.
“There will be other passengers,” said the taxi driver.
The driver then bent over and hugged the lady. She whispered to him, “Thank you. You gave an old woman a few more moments of joy.”
The driver could hardly speak when he pulled away. What if that woman had gotten an impatient driver? Or someone who refused to get out and pick her up at her door? Or refused to drive around the city?
Be patient in conversation. There may be an important lesson waiting to be learned in your interactions with others.
The woman wasn’t the only one to benefit that day, as the cab driver was able to feel the significance of his actions for her, and knowledge of how precious life is.
Take some time to find more patience with the people you interact with, whether that’s listening intently to your partner, having a conversation with your kids, or checking in with a friend.
Look for lessons in your conversations and opportunities to give encouragement or simply be present with another person.
Final Thoughts on Stories About Patience
Hopefully these stories have shown you the benefits of exercising patience in your everyday life. Patience offers the persistence to carry out things that will lead you to achieving your long-term goals and help you realize that success will come as long as you keep trying.
For more advice on how to practice patience, check out this article explaining 11 ways to be more patient in life.
If your are looking for more short stories, check out these blog posts:
- 31 Best Inspirational & Motivational Short Stories [2023 Update]
- 15 True Motivational Stories to Inspire Your Success
- 11 Short Stories About Perseverance & Never Giving Up
Connie Mathers is a professional editor and freelance writer. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. When she is not writing, Connie is either spending time with her daughter and two dogs, running, or working at her full-time job as a social worker in Richmond, VA.