Patient Prosperity

Rule 14. Make no haste to be rich if you would prosper.

tortoise and hare

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Yet another indispensable maxim from Stephan Allen, this particular exhortation is to remind us of the value of patient effort. Few men who engage in “get-rich-quick” schemes find long term happiness and success. As Aesop well said, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

The road to that success is paved with a great deal of difficulties and risks. But it is those very difficulties that define and mold your character. It adds increased worth to the fruit of your labors. When someone inherits a fortune from their ancestors, it is because of the labor of previous generations. They have not personally sweated for it. They rarely appreciate the true effort that made the inheritance valuable.

Not only does the work enhance the value of it’s profit, it builds the character necessary to manage it. By its nature wealth is often accumulated by the exercising of character qualities such as self-control and economy, allowing the proper understanding of how to best use the capital accumulated.

As Wall Street has taught many a professional and amateur stock broker, wealth quickly gained is quickly lost. It rarely allows tranquility of mind, constantly under the worry that what has appeared in rapid time will disappear at the same pace.

Only patience brings development with prosperity. If you wish long term success you must pay the price and work for it with all diligence, seizing opportunities as they arrive, but shunning the ill fated roads to quick success. Sacrificing self-respect and honor for gain is always a short time trade. Such choices demand more interest back than they pay.

Wealth is not the substance of weeks and months, but the accumulation of years and decades. If you wish prosperity, you will do well to remember that it comes from diligence, patience, and self-control.


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