You’ve probably heard the saying.

 

Good things come to those who wait.

 

It’s a proverb that has been around for a long time, and probably one of the most well-known sayings pertaining to patience and ‘waiting for things to happen’.

 

But is it true? Will good things really come to those who just wait for them—or is it possible that we cling to sayings like this despite the fact that they don’t always give us the best advice?

 

Unfortunately, the latter might be true in this case—though with some imagination and some investigative reasoning, it might become easy to see why the saying became popular and what it actually meant to those who used to use it.

 

Let’s propose a situation. A young man is sitting in a café, waiting to order. The waitress finally arrives—and he is suddenly awestruck with how beautiful she is. He fumbles around with his menu, trying to order without looking stupid. There is no denying that he would love to take her out to lunch sometime—so what should he do?

 

Well, let’s say that he says to himself good things come to those who wait. Maybe, in his mind, he thinks that if he holds off and doesn’t ask her out, that they will end up meeting a different way, or that he will end up finding somebody even better. He eats his lunch, he pays, he smiles and says goodbye, and then he leaves.

 

Now, a quick calculation will tell us that his odds of finding someone else are pretty good. There are, after all, over 7 billion people in the world, and roughly half of them are female. If he waits, he will most surely find another opportunity to ask an attractive girl out on a date.

 

But then again, what if he had said this to himself when he met the attractive waitress for the first time…

 

Good things come to those who go out and get them.

 

This is the opposite frame of mind—but is it possible that there is more truth to it?

 

Using this logic, he might have asked her if she would like to get coffee with him sometime. Her answer might have been ‘no’, or ‘maybe’—but what if she said yes? What if they ended up being soul mates? What if they ended up getting married and having a wonderful family together?

 

This reality might not have come to pass had he not spoken to her. Of course, patience definitely has its virtues, and being willing to be patient can save you a lot of hassle over the course of your lifetime.

 

But should you literally wait for everything?

 

Maybe going out to get what you want and exercising patience at key points along the way is what it’s really all about.