We all practice patience everyday. The dictionary uses several deifinitions that speak somewhat of suffering; for me however this works best: 3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence.
Take the oft asked question: Where do you want to be in 5 years? (sends shivers through my spine for reasons political) And let's take an obvious answer for this goal setting question: I want to be alive. You may laugh but I believe that is a goal we all share . OK so, do you patiently wait for that goal to be reached? Yes, and you also check in with your well being from time to time to make sure you reach that goal, and barring any unexpected circumstances the odds are in your favor. So what did you do to reach that goal in the last year. I bet you didn't fret over it daily or you'd be labeled a neurotic. I'd say the same should be practiced for shorter term goals after all you want to be alive next year, next month, next day and next hour and the next minute. Do you fret over it second by second? I think the answer is no, because it's a reasonable expectation.
Now look at it for trading. First of all, you should not enter a trade without a goal. Wait and see attitude does not serve for long in any circumstance. Second are you setting reasonable expectations? We can say "yes" if the stock you select has a track record for what you want. (For example, it's a reasonable expectation that GOOG will move 1+ points on a trade because that's how the stock moves historically.) Once the signal is given and you enter the trade, keep your goal in mind and check in to see if that stock is moving toward your goal. You have your stops set in case it is not, and the rest is up to circumstances beyond your control except for your patience.. yes the same one you use for long term outlook. Every moment you analyze, you make a decision and it tests your patience. Perhaps it also tests your confidence in yourself, but no more so then when you test your patience on your long term goal. It's the conception that is different because, anything reduced to a smaller area is under more pressure; that's just physics.
Therefore the question becomes not whether we are patient enough, nor is the answer that we need more of it, but whether we have a reasonable expectations in the goals we have set. If we do our homework before setting any goal, we should be able to rest easy enough short or long term and it's our view that needs to be adjusted, remembering that patience is tied to emotion more than to logic.
So how or where do we draw the line and how do we know when we have used enough patience? Perhaps a topic for another day and maybe less to do with reasonable expectations and more to do with recognizing reality.