A Rudderless Ship

Thoughts + Opinion

Patience is a virtue. An aphorism that we have all been told, told to other people, and told to ourselves. Patience and consistency coupled together are a powerful concoction – the makings of greatness. But blind patience is weaponized attrition. It can leave us complacent and apathetic as our life plays on a reel in front of us. Like a vector, patience requires energy and direction to be truly meaningful.

For me, patience has typically been expected, even demanded, in my professional roles and aspirations. Even feeling lost and wanting so much more out of life, the advice I have always been given is just to be patient. That things will work out over time. That you’ll eventually find what you’re supposed to do and that there is no rush. That I should just be thankful I have a job and should keep going on this path and just see what happens. Hearing all this while knowing I didn’t want to be in the position I was in, that it felt wrong, has always been heartbreaking for me.


“No wind favors he who has no destined port”


Life is fragile. It’s a delicate balance of being pragmatic to struggle through things you don’t want in order to achieve things you do. And to be bold enough to take agency over your life and decide what it even is that you do want and then to take risks to make it happen. You don’t want to blow up stability with no plan or goals, but you don’t want to stay in mindless stability so long that you become numb to it.

The storm of life rages on paying no mind to the minutia of our daily lives. In terrifyingly variable severity, we all must brace against it in our own ways time and time again. Regardless of our patience, eventually the storm will pass through whatever patch of life we stand on, and we will have to hunker down and shield ourselves until we get to a better place in life – mentally, physically, or both. Stoic patience can often be enough to weather a storm. But it will return. Endlessly. Until we pass on. Without direction, it feels like an unfair, unyielding force attacking a rudderless ship. Battering it relentlessly for sport, while the people on board hope they end up in a better place than before the storm arrived.

In knowing that, we are all faced with a choice at some point – to face our personal struggles without defined purpose, to weather the storm blindly, with directionless patience hoping things one day work out for us – or devising a plan with clear goals, knowing life will likely change it. Taking some control back for ourselves. Building our boat of fragile plans and ambitions, and instead of waiting for the storm, sailing out into it. Grabbing our ship’s wheel during the storm and navigating the struggle in our chosen path as best we can.

Patience is critical. Being patient for the sake of the virtue of patience is not. It’s far more critical once you know what you are being patient for. Once you step through the door of responsibility and acknowledge the what and why of your choices, things are most likely going to get far more difficult. Achieving difficult goals has a long, winding, difficult journey in front of it. Patience can help you survive the storms. But if you are to face the storm time and time again, to come out the other side stronger and more capable, you may as well face it upright, choosing to venture into its energy to serve a purpose you believe in.

See you tomorrow.
Nick

Inspirations: Patience, Chasing passion
Quote: Michel de Montaigne

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