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How Patience Changed Me

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.”

- Napoleon Hill

Maintaining patience is challenging for many of us. From waiting for a package in the mail or a response from a friend, our level of patience varies depending on the situation. In a world where everything moves at a fast pace, it's easy to get used to the flow. However, when things are slow-paced, our patience is greatly tested. I find that because of this fast-paced atmosphere, some people believe that this is the way the world operates. In other words, we shouldn’t have to wait too long for something at all; it should come right this second. But as we get older and wiser, we learn that things don’t always happen swiftly. It takes patience to recognize why some things take more time to come.

Maturing in Life Through Patience

Like many others, I struggled with patience when I was a kid. For example, when I dined out with my family, I often got impatient while waiting for the food to come. I was so hungry that my frustration was noticeable. My family constantly reminded me to be patient while the food was made, but this increased my annoyance. Regardless, I obeyed and the food finally came.

After years of learning how to be patient while waiting for my meal, I no longer complain about the long wait. I was too insensitive in the past to realize that the chefs needed time to prepare and cook our dishes. If the chefs quickly cooked and served us food that didn’t taste good, my family and I wouldn’t have gotten what we paid for. Now that I understand the reason for the wait, I’m willing to give them the time they need to cook what I ordered.

Although my patience in life somewhat improved as I entered my college years, I desperately wanted to graduate early. The amount of coursework I received from my professors made my wait to graduate feel like forever. Additionally, I had to take four classes a semester; five or more courses would give me burnout. As my friends and classmates finished their studies, I had trouble keeping my patience. I was jealous of them because they got to graduate first, but I was also happy because they were finally getting their diplomas. I had to remember that they started college before me. If I graduated early and missed out on the valuable lessons other classes had to offer me, I wouldn't have been prepared for the real world. So in order for me to finish college, I needed to understand that my learning style is different from others, focus on my own journey, and take my time.

The issue was I wanted to be like some students who are able to comprehend everything they’re taught before leaving the classroom, but it never worked that way for me. Because I’m a slower learner than those students, I needed a lot of time to understand what I was taught. Additionally, I was too busy worrying about my friends’ college journeys that I didn’t really pay attention to my own. With all these problems polluting my mind, it was time to stop thinking about them and fix my goals. My goals were to learn the skills my professors taught me in my fields and be good at them, pass all of my classes with A’s, and take every semester one at a time until I’m done. After I graduated, I found that the journey was worth the wait. I have no regrets about taking my time and staying patient (even though it was difficult) and I noticed that if I could wait this long to get what I worked for (a diploma), then I could wait for anything, even if it takes a while.

Why Taking My Time Gets The Job Done

With a career in my toolkit, I learned that certain film and journalism tasks (i.e., video editing and audio production) require a lot of time and dedication. At first, I thought I could just breeze through these activities, but I was wrong.

When I first learned how to edit videos in school, I found the task to be time-consuming. During film production class, my professor assigned us homework where we would film and edit our own content (i.e., suspense films, black and white films, etc.). Due to my other assignments, I didn’t have a lot of time and patience to thoroughly edit my videos. As a result, I didn’t like film editing. A couple of years later, I enrolled in a film editing course to fulfill a computer science requirement. My professor gave me exercises where I had to put together a scene using the raw footage they provided, edit a music video, create a trailer, etc. With a lot of time on my hands, I was able to approach my assignments like a puzzle and edit everything in detail. Now I found film editing relaxing for me because I got to trim, arrange, and put the clips together in my own way. Film editing taught me the importance of working meticulously and patiently. If I hadn’t given film editing a second chance, I probably would have had trouble doing audio production.

Like video editing, audio production requires much effort and patience to get the job done. The only difference between the two is that I’m strictly editing audio. Depending on the recording(s), there would be times when I would edit content that was roughly 15 seconds (short-form) or over 30 minutes (long-form) in duration. Because of my precise editing style, I don’t get the long-form recordings done in a day. For instance, if I’m working on a 30+ minute audio story, I would break down the recording into three even sections and carefully listen for any clicks or mouth noise and erase those. There were times where I had to adjust plosives (popping sounds/words that start with consonants such as the letters p or b) or sibilance (hissing sounds) to make the audio flow better. I'd usually work on one section every day until everything is fully cleaned up. Then I would work another day solely on applying effects and listening to the revised version. It does test my patience, because I’d usually stop at every second to fix any clicks, plosives, etc. Thankfully, when I placed those finished recordings into my hard drive, I felt relieved. If I rushed the process and put little to no effort into any of my pieces, the final product would look and sound sloppy, which would reflect poorly on my performance as an artist. If I wasn’t patient with myself and my process of getting the work done, I don’t think I’d be happy with my profession.

Patience is a Virtue

I’m glad that I’ve learned to become more patient. It is difficult to be patient with myself at times, but in the end, I’ve come to appreciate the journey. To this day, I’m still practicing patience, and I know that this will take the rest of my life to become proficient. What I love most about practicing patience is that as I continue to tolerate the long waits (for anything in general), it’s a sign that I’m maturing. As I mature, I’m becoming more and more tolerant of the good and bad things in society, especially with my surroundings and my profession.

Being patient in life is a good characteristic to have. If you’re already patient with yourself, your loved ones, and everyone around you, you’re ahead of everyone else. There are too many things going on in this world, and there’s not enough patience. If you’re having trouble with being patient with yourself, you need to take a step back and reflect on why it’s difficult. If you want to set a good example for the rest of the world, you need to start by being patient with yourself, but please don’t expect to change overnight. You have to allow yourself to wait for the things that you want, especially if it’s self-improvement. It’s crucial in developing your character. If you’re impatient while waiting, put yourself in the place of the person responsible for getting you that item you desired or of your friend who is taking a while to get back to you. When you develop patience, you are on the verge of becoming a better person, and just like the quote says, perspiration, persistence AND patience will lead to happy results.

How did patience change you? Please let us know in the comments.

About the Author:

Ashley Lee is an alumna of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Film with a minor in Journalism and Media Studies. She is a freelance filmmaker and journalist who enjoys traveling, audio production, volunteering at local nonprofits, writing, photography, and spending time with her family. Lee is also a co-host of a local Las Vegas podcast. You can follow her on Instagram @ambivertashleyproductions.

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