Seth GodinUber blogger and best selling author Seth Godin has recently published an ebook that, in keeping with our mission here at the ParmFarm, is meant to inspire growth by provoking thought. It worked for me. I thought something was missing from the book.

This is not a criticism. I’m sure Seth thinks something is missing as well. He as much as says so by inviting others to comment and contribute their thoughts. But, to me, this was a really big miss.

The title of Seth’s book is ‘What Matters Now’. I don’t know the exact wording of his assignment but he basically asks 70 or so people who he describes as ‘big thinkers’ to pick a word or topic that people need to think about. Or, as he describes the recently published collection – ‘important people’ sharing ‘important ideas’.

what matters nowI wondered why my word was not listed, and then I remembered I was not asked to contribute and then I realized I don’t even know Seth. So, I’m either not important or Seth just doesn’t realize yet that I am. I’m going to pretend it’s the latter just because I am so completely amused by the idea of describing someone as important that I am quite sure I could be as important as anyone else.

So, it occurs to me that a really important idea is missing from Seth’s book (which is free by the way and you can download it by clicking here). As an example, some of the words or topics in the book include Enrichment, Fear, Focus, Vision, Autonomy, Technology and Sleep.

What about Patience?

It seems so obvious to me right now that we need more patience but nobody else thought of it, which kind of proves my point (and tries my patience). Nobody thinks in terms of patience. Someone who is being patient is seen as someone doing nothing and that, we know, is an idea only acceptable on the Sabbath, maybe.

Patience used to be a virtue. Now, apparently, it is not even an ‘important idea’ to ‘big thinkers’. Or, not as important as other words and ideas that made the list like Excellence, Awesome, Attention, Connected – even Re-capitalism. This, even though Seth actually promotes patience on his very own blog as a ‘secret’ to success.

We live in a day and age where young entrepreneurs are earning millions overnight. Tim Ferriss’ book is a best seller because it tells people how to earn more and work less. Stars are born on American Idol in a matter of weeks. And, The Bachelor and The Biggest Loser are the biggest winners because weight can be lost and love found in just a few months.

Has patience become a bad word? Is patience mistaken for ambivalence? I checked the dictionary just to be sure and yup – they are still two different words.

However, I am also happy to report that I have been enlightened. I now understand why ‘patience’ didn’t make Seth’s book. The definition of patience is ‘the capacity to endure hardship, difficulty, or inconvenience without complaint.’ Really? Without complaint??? Hmmm. Well, I’m not complaining or anything but I just don’t know too many folks like that. And, that is why patience is an ‘important idea’ — which I think makes me a ‘big thinker’. (Seth, please note.)

We talk about solving complex problems like health care and the economy as though they are simple items on a daily to do list. We teach our children patience but we demonstrate little ourselves.

Nike encourages us to ‘Just Do It’. But the popular tagline which has come to reflect our culture really means don’t think about it. This is fine perhaps for your daily exercise routine but don’t some things deserve – dare I say – a little more thought and consideration?

Think about it. If you have the patience.

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