The Impatiently Patient


“To those that flee comes neither power or glory” - Homer

A farmer wakes up hungry one day in the late fall and goes out to his fields to get some food. There is no food in his fields. The soil hasn’t been tilled and his barn is full of seed. What is wrong with this picture? Why is it ridiculous for us to assume that a farmer that does not work in the spring should have a harvest in the fall? We can look at this in terms of IP vs PI.

The concept of goals and achieving them can be looked through a filter of two personality types: IP and PI. IP stands for impatiently patient and it signifies a person who sets a goal NOW and then works towards it NOW. He or she does not set a date on the completion of the goal. They understand that it is through the work of moving from where they are now to where they want to be that the goal is reached. The importance to this person is in setting the goal and action plan immediately. This person is one that has stamina when it comes to their goal. They understand the process and time needed to accomplish the goal. Think in the terms of a farmer who plants nothing in the springs and then one fall day when he is hungry gets angry that there is no harvest. The IP person understands that the springs is the perfect time to plant his seeds and does so immediately upon spring arriving. Then the farmer is patient until fall to reap his harvest. An IP person is one who knows the value of delayed gratification. An IP person knows that the immediate action they must take should not be delayed or, if you will allow my stretch of terms, “flee” from.

The exact opposite person is the PI, patiently impatient. This is a person who will set a goal to lose weight but they will wait for the first of the month. Those that set wait to set New Year’s resolutions are classic PI’s. This personality type will always live in the wonderful land of tomorrow when money, fame, health, and happiness are bountiful. They will put off to tomorrow what should be done today. This delay also gets coupled with a dangerous assumption of return on investment. Think of the person who has 20 pounds to lose, shows up that gym for 1 month, and quits because working out obviously doesn’t work. What took them many months or years to put on, and what took them many years to athletically loose, they expect to come back in 30 days or less. Why is it ad and marketing firms love to sell you on these quick fixes and crash diets? The ad and marketing firms know that people don’t want to be told that success takes time. People want to put no effort in the spring time planting of seeds but they think they DESERVE the harvest in the fall. The PI people plan for the future tomorrow while expecting it today.

In our opening analogy about the farmer, which personality type was he? PI or IP? He was definitely a PI. The fable of the farmer is useful in showing that this personality trait is a valid argument. Be careful though because in your analysis you already may have made an error. Why is it easy to see the wrong of the patiently impatient farmer but still in your own life be a patiently impatient person? If we look up and do not like where we are in life financially, emotionally, in our job, in our material possessions, in our relationship, in our quality of life then take immediate action! You must shrug off the inclination to patiently put the goal and work off to a later date as a PI would. We must not flee from work, from a goal, and from immediate action. We must rush into action like an impatient person. We must plant our seeds today so that in the patient future we can reap a harvest of power and glory.