What is patience?
Patience means the “capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious”. Patience can also be described as “the state of being that occurs between experience and reaction. ”
The curse of instant gratification has caused us to be impatient
The truth is that most of us lack patience. When we want something , we want it now! When we order something off Ebay we look for the same day delivery option or whatever is closest. When we ask someone to do something – we expect them to do it now. We want things done sooner than later.
We seek instant gratification without delay. We want instantaneous fulfillment because we don’t have time to waist. This is exacerbated by the fact that we live in an instant culture where instant fulfillment is the promise of the day. Fast food, Google searches, instant soup, Facebook posts, likes, text messages and the list goes on. In today’s world- do we even need patience anymore?
When we don’t get what we want now and we decide to wait or have no choice but to wait, we become anxious, frustrated and even a little edgy. That little patience we had starts to wear thin. The challenge in life is that while some things are quicker to acquire, there are still some incredible things that require time, and in order to get those things, patience is considered essential.
Fundamentals of being patient
Nothing Worth Having Comes Easy. Most of us wants some sort of success and fulfillment in our lives. Whether it be relationships, money, or a solid sense of self. It can and will come to you, but it will take time. Understand that just because you don’t have the perfect job now, or the right partner, or the perfect house, it doesn’t mean those things won’t come into your life eventually.
Patience is Truly Virtue. “The ability to wait for something without getting angry or upset is a valuable quality in a person.” Patience is quality that will benefit you in every aspect of your life. Having patience enables you to deal with any discomfort in a way that best suits your life and the people around you. Exhibiting patience shows that you have a high moral standard, it shows that you are mindful and self-aware and that you exercise self-control.
While learning to become a more patient person is possible, it can be difficult and it won’t happen overnight.
How do we master the art of patience?
Recognise your impatience when it happens
You can’t really practice patience if you’re not mindful. The first step to developing more patience comes through mindful self-awareness. This involves becoming aware of your reactions and responses to people, events and circumstances. Just observe and be there within the moment.
Acknowledge what is setting you off (Your Triggers)
Is it slow drivers? Is it how long the barrister is taking with your coffee? Do you tend to lose your cool when you are feeling stressed or hungry. Most of us have common triggers that set off feelings of impatience, and they often come from recurring events. This could be anything from your kids not taking their lunch tin out their schools bags everyday, to your neighbour’s barking dog. Recognizing these triggers can help you manage your impatient responses or accept the the things that are out of your control.
Change your perspective for a second
Most often than not, the reason for your impatience is another person, and in most cases, a change in your perspective will go along way. For example, imagine you’re stuck behind an elderly person in line at the supermarket, as you watch them slowly count out their coins. Instead of getting agitated, put yourself in their shoes. We all are going to get old eventually and we are all going to do things a bit slower than we did when we were young. A little empathy goes a long way.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Give yourself the opportunity to not sweat the small stuff. Ask yourself, In the bigger scheme of life – does it really matter? Is it really worth your blood boiling? Your impatience will often stem from someone else’s incompetence, mistakes, or failure to follow procedure, so talk to them about it. Instead of working yourself up every time your your assistant spells your name wrong on an email, sit down with them and teach them the correct way. Or of your housekeeper continuously forgets to clean a certain section, the only way to improve on that is to teach them the correct way. It may take a bit of time but it will alleviate your impatience in the long run. Will the cause of your impatience matter in five years’ time? Will it even matter in five hours or five minutes? If the answer is no than move on.
Losing patience is a symptom
Find ways to destress in other areas of your life.You may be overworked, or feeling down.This can create an atmosphere in which the slightest grievance can feel like the most unmanageable hurdle. Instead of putting your focus on maintaining your cool in tough situations, move your energies towards de-stressing in other areas. This could mean, finding a work life balance, taking more time out for yourself or getting more sleep. This also ties in with identifying your triggers.
Accept the things that you cannot change
You know the serenity pray; “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference”. There is so much truth in that. Acknowledge that there are things that are out of your control. Over Analysing and overthinking them will only stress you out further, but if you accept that you can’t change the situation, or your can’t change a person, you’ll be free to let your mind wander to more positive places.
Take pride in your patience
The practice of self-control is when you will truly begin to feel that you have gone through some personal growth. When you are able to hold your composure, control your temperament, consciously choose your words and not react but rather respond with understanding, that is when you can truly begin to feel empowered.
Teaching yourself how to be more patient is so beneficial to your overall well-being, however, despite all of the ways you can become more patient, you must also keep in mind thats its okay to be impatient at times.
Perhaps your boss is beating around the bush about the increase you were promised, or perhaps a partner is treating you badly. In such scenarios, remember your self worth, and don’t put patience before your own wellbeing.