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10 Quotes That Prove Patience Is a Virtue

“Good things come to those who wait” is a truism heard often in our everyday lives, and those “good things” usually manifest as closer relationships, successful careers, and a prevailing inner peace.

The art of patience combined with passion and persistence is what has propelled the greatest artists, scientists, athletes, and leaders to success. Famous authors have written the virtue of patience into their beloved protagonists; artists have touted its importance in the act of creation; and philosophers the world over have attested to its value.

But for many people, patience doesn’t come easily. As philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said, "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." These 10 quotes from famous figures across thousands of years speak to the importance of patience, and how to inspire it within yourself when you need it most.

To lose patience is to lose the battle.
— Mahatma Gandhi

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
— Confucius

Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you.
— Ovid

Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
— A.A. Milne

Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
— Benjamin Disraeli

Genius is eternal patience.
— Michelangelo

Two things define you: your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.
— George Bernard Shaw

Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone.
— Margaret Atwood

Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water… Be still and allow the mud to settle.
— Lao Tzu

How poor are they that have not patience. What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
— William Shakespeare

Photo credit: Central Press/ Hulton Archive via Getty Images

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About the Author
Darren Orf
Darren lives in Portland, Oregon, has two cats, and writes about science, technology, nature, and history.
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