08 Mar

The four cardinal virtues; Patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeingWhy would one put patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeing together even though patience and perseverance are not members of the four cardinal virtues of classical antiquity? It is because those two attributes, patience and perseverance constitute major, inestimable qualities necessary for harmonious relationships, and by extension, for wellness and wellbeing. Indeed, it is probably not an exaggeration to opine that lack of patience in virtually any endeavor in life is a recipe for ultimate failure and even self destruction. Similarly, without perseverance, one cannot build toughness and strength, and people cannot develop the coping mechanisms which are sorely needed to survive the vicissitudes of life.

Yes, the four cardinal virtues of classical antiquity, namely, Prudence (Wisdom), Justice, Courage and Temperance(Moderation) are the pantheon of all virtues. This noble quartet is the foundation of not only morality, but it represents the blueprint for mindful, meaningful and healthy living. However, Patience and Perseverance are not far behind at all. They are a vital and much needed adjunct to the four cardinal virtues. That is why we can state unequivocally that patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeing belong in the same sentence. Let us examine the benefits of patience and perseverance in the life of an individual and the negative consequences in a person who lacks these qualities.

William Shakespeare; Quote on Patience;Patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeing“How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees? Thou know’st we work by wit and not by witchcraft, And wit depends on dilatory time”.  Thus says Iago in Shakespeare’s Othello: Act 2, Scene 3, 376-379. The modern translation reads thus: “You’re a poor man if you’re this impatient! If you get hurt, does your wound heal immediately? No, it heals gradually. We achieve things with our intelligence, not by magic, and intelligent planning takes time”.

Sir Isaac Newton quote on Patience; Patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeingThe great British mathematician and physicist, Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) had this to say about one of the attributes that were vital to his discoveries: “If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent”.

Regarding perseverance, in a 1995 interview  by Daniel Morrow, executive director of Computer World Honors Program with the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers, the conversation went like this:

Daniel Morrow: “… to talk to young people who sort of look to you as a role model… opportunities for innovation you think are still possible… What are the factors for success for young people today? What pitfalls should they avoid if you’re playing the role of elder statesman?

Steve Jobs on Perseverance; Patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeingSteve Jobs: And I go, “Well… I think you should go get a job as a bus boy or something so you find something you are really passionate about,” because it’s a lot of work and… “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance”. It is so hard and you pour so much of your life into this thing, there are such rough moments in time that most people give up. And I don’t blame them, it’s really tough.

In other words, to accomplish ground breaking objectives and things that would positively transform the lives of billions of people, perseverance is an indispensable quality. Furthermore, to persevere requires tremendous patience and inner strength. A person who is patient and who can persevere would be slow to anger and wrath, and would think deeply before responding to situations. Living this type of life would lead to reduced stress, anxiety and conflicts, a triple healthy package which is beneficial for wellness and healthy living. So, patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeing should be cherished.  There is a plethora of literature on the negative health consequences of stress, anxiety , conflicts and disharmony. Suffice it to state that in order to experience long term wellness and for true wellbeing, one should do everything possible to avoid unnecessary stress,anxiety and conflicts. To do this requires patience and perseverance in one’s calmness.

The information contained in this blog post can contribute to the enhancement of your effort to avoid physical, mental and emotional stress and to maintain a balanced life and wellbeing. So, eat healthy, keep moving and exercise at least three times weekly and better still, exercise daily and remember, patience, perseverance, wellness and wellbeing go hand in hand in the pursuit of healthy, mindful and meaningful life. The ads on the right side of this page deal with  physical and mental fitness, exercise equipments and tools, healthy diets, books on healthy living, wellness and wellbeing.  Please feel free to check them out. Also, I look forward to your comments about this post.




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