The Path To Patience

Patience is the ability to tolerate waiting, delay, or frustration without becoming agitated or upset. It’s the ability to be able to control your emotions or impulses and proceed calmly when faced with difficulties.

In this day and age of ‘instant gratification’, patience does not come easily to most of us. In fact it’s probably harder now to be patient in our world than it’s ever been.

Technological advancements and instantaneous access to credit have allowed us to obtain, experience, and consume practically anything we want – almost immediately.   Don’t get me wrong, technology and the labour saving devices that go with it are definitely advantageous, but the change and pace of life has become is vast do we even need to be patient anymore?

Well, if we want to achieve our goals, have successful interactions with others and develop personal peace, the answer is a YES! Here are a few ways to cultivate a more patient mindset.

  • Find out what’s bugging you. Identify your triggers. Some of us get impatient in traffic and start with the road rage, others hate grocery lines and people who still write checks/cheques  and some of us may be impatient with kids. We might give up immediately if we don’t get immediate results. Some of us get mad every time a request is not immediately fulfilled (the husband does not take trash out within 5 seconds and the kids do not clean their room in 10 minutes.) Once you find out exactly what bothers you, then you can start to change.
  • Stay focused. We are often impatient because we constantly worry about the future instead of living in the present. Worry does no good at all, has very little impact on the outcome of things, and is basically your head lying to you. Living in the moment and not focusing so much on the future has an instant calming effect and calmness is empowering.  It does not matter whether you are standing in line or relaxing on the beach, just remember that your life is precious and you can’t waste it by getting mad.
  • Change the channel. Do not concentrate on the fact that you are late or that you are bored and you want everything to be fast. Chill out to some music (MagicFM is a good choice. I’m on every weekday from 2-5. Hint hint), while you are stuck in traffic. While in line at the grocery, think back to an amazing time in your life and focus on how you felt. The secret is to CHANGE your thinking channel.  We get mad because we feel that our time is wasted but if you focus on something else then you won’t even notice how the time flies.
  • Practice. Try this simple exercise. Sit still for 10 minutes without doing anything. (It’s harder than you think) Try to clear your mind completely and just ‘be’. Every time your brain wanders into what you ‘should’ be doing think “Just Be”. Take deep breaths and center yourself. You can also walk as slow as you possibly can to your car in the car park or try to eat your lunch at a much slower pace than usual, (this can actually help you lose some weight too if this is one of your goals.)
  • Slow your roll. Most of us have very busy and fast-paced lives and we get impatient when the world is not moving at our speed. What if you are too fast for this world? Eliminate some of the unnecessary activities from your schedule, reset your goals and priorities and generally relax about life.

Anything worthwhile can’t take place right away. It takes time, determination and effort to achieve; so even in this day and age, patience is a virtue.