Character Chats

How do we show patience with our long-term goals and the world today?

Patience means waiting without complaining. Our True Character word of the month is patience.

It’s such an important character trait and something that’s difficult for all of us. It’s not just difficult for children, it’s difficult for everybody.

We’re all impatient with the Coronavirus

We’re at a part right now where we all have to try to show a little bit of patience. We have been in this Coronavirus world for one year now. Yeah, it was about a year ago, depending on where you’re at in the country.

For us here, I think it’s about a year right now since the stay-at-home order.

Now, first: of course you’re impatient. There is no one in the world that would like Coronavirus to continue going, right?

It’s not like a snow storm. You know how when there’s a snow storm, most people think to themselves and say out loud, “Oh no, it’s another snow storm. Oh goodness. I’ve got to clean it up.”

But then there’s just a couple of kids that are like, “Yeah! Snow! Maybe we’ll be off from school.”

All right? Coronavirus is not like that. No one, no one wants it to keep going. No one has patience for it. Everyone just wants it to be done. Every last person in the world wants it just to be done, but it’s not done yet.

Doing the work to get there

The vaccines are rolling out. Lots of people are getting vaccinated. Maybe some of you have gotten vaccinated already. Okay. But everyone hasn’t yet. It’s not all the way gone.

We’ve done a lot of hard work to get here.

We’ve shown a lot of empathy and a lot of care for others by keeping distance, keeping our masks on, doing class in our squares, staying apart, not going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house all the time.

We’ve shown a lot of patience for that because we don’t want to be the one responsible for harming somebody else, even if we’re not likely to be harmed by this.

But I know, we’re sick of it.

It’s been a year. We’re almost there, a little more patience. Let’s show a little more patience, let’s show a little bit more character.

Let’s keep this thing at bay so then all of us can just get back to what we were doing. The harder we work at it now for these next few months, the sooner it’s going to be done and we can get past it.

Just a little more patience

So a little patience for everybody out there, right?

And kids I think can probably help teach parents a little bit of patience too. I’ve seen some of my kids being a little bit more accepting, with an attitude of: yeah this is the world right now and let’s have a little more patience.

Let’s all be inspired by some of the patience our kids are showing with it.

Patience for long-term goals

Now patience is big in your long-term goal setting.

Black belt is a long-term goal. It’s not something that comes right away.

For an adult that enrolls, it’s four years to black belt. For a kid, it can be five or six years to black belt.


Now we know that it’s such a serious accomplishment. Earning your black belt is one of those things that you’re going to talk about for the rest of your life. It’s something that goes in the photo album, not just for the year but for the whole time when you were a kid.

Twenty years from now you can be talking about what you did as a kid, and black belt will definitely be one of them.

It doesn’t come in a day though. We have to show patience to get it.

One of the ways we show patience is by incremental goals. That’s what the color belts are in the belt system.

Instead of just starting with white belts, waiting five or six years and earning a black belt, we have lots of incremental goals that come in between. Little things that we can celebrate. Celebrate that we’ve taken one step further toward the goal.

Example of patience in long-term goals

Here is a good example of how long-term goal setting and hard work comes out.

A book that we’re going to be teaching in our leadership program is Atomic Habits. In the book, the author uses an ice cube as an example. And I think it’s a great patience example regarding long-term goals.

Take an ice cube out of the freezer and set it on the counter.

Maybe it comes out of the freezer at zero degrees. And it has to warm all the way up to 32° before it starts turning to water, right?

When it goes from 0° to 1° to 2° to 3° to 4°, it looks like nothing happens to the ice cube. But when it goes from 31° to 32°, all of a sudden it starts to melt.

Now, did all the work happen in just that one degree? No, each degree rise from zero is an equal amount of work as the previous one.

It just so happens that we tend to only notice our goals right there at the end. And remembering that all of that work along the way is one of the ways to help show us our long-term patience.

It helps, of course, having a little reward at each degree. Okay? Just like we have a little reward with our belt system, every two or four months, earning a belt to have that incremental progress toward our long-term goals.

Then learn to have some patience.

Things worth getting are worth waiting for

Of course you’re going to get impatient.

Of course it feels like you want to be done with this Coronavirus world.

Of course it feels like you want a black belt in a day.

Everybody feels that way, but we’ve got to remember that things that are worth getting, we have to wait for.

It takes time, and we need to show a little patience.

That is the True Character of a black belt.

Thanks, and we will see everybody on the mat.
–Master Helsdon