Listening to Tony Blair's speech today, I was struck by one thing.
The patient energy of the man, and the patient energy it takes to get anything big done, or make a difference on a large scale.
There were many examples I noticed, but the Northern Ireland peace process is a prime example. It was seven or eight years ago that the Good Friday agreement was signed. It was only yesterday that it was finally confirmed that the IRA has decommissioned all its weapons. And even now, the process if far from over.
In between there were many all night negotiations, many breakdowns, lots of frustrations, seeming impasses, seemingly impossible awkward characters to deal with.
And yet what has been accomplished is something that would have seemed impossible, as recently as 1994.
So it wasn't the accomplishment of one person, but the accomplishment of many people of tremendous patience and energy on all sides.
Now what strikes me about this is that I am sometimes patient, and sometimes energetic, but rarely both at the same time.
When I am patient, I think things like "this can wait until tomorrow", "there's no hurry", "I don't need to do this right now", "it won't make any difference if its done today or next week".
And then I have energetic bursts when I throw myself into projects. And I often accomplish a great deal that way, and other people are sometimes very impressed. But if it can't get done in a burst of intense energy, if it takes time, if there are problems that seem to have no immediate solution, chances are I will get disheartened or lose interest, or move on to some other more exciting project.
It could be possible for me to cultivate being a person of patient energy.
And it would make a big difference to my life, and what I accomplish in it.