Do you have patience? As you know it is a virtue and can be cultivated.
The dictionary says that patience is: the “calm endurance of hardship, provocation, pain, delay etc; tolerant perseverance or forbearance; the capacity for calm self-possessed waiting”. In our fast-paced world it seems almost unrealistic to expect people to be patient, yet patience can contribute to our sense of wellbeing. When you are able to realise and accept that not all things and people can be hurried along, you will find a greater peace in yourself and your dealings with others. Although impatience may sometimes seem warranted to you, it is seldom helpful.
Essentially, patience involves the choice of either a small reward in the short term, or a more valuable reward in the long term. We tend to choose the short-term reward, that is immediate gratification, despite the often greater benefits associated with long-term rewards.
What makes you impatient?
When you understand what makes you impatient, there is a better chance of improving your own behaviour in this regard. Take note of any patterns you see in your impatient behaviour to try and correct them. Impatience can have a number of causes, such as:
- You have too many things on your plate
- You budgeted too little time for the job at hand
- You are anxious, tense or frustrated
- You are irritated with a person or circumstance.
How to overcome impatience
Try the following to help you overcome impatience:
- Take a deep breath when you start to feel impatient; concentrate on your breathing for a while
- Think of something nice, beautiful or peaceful
- Try to ignore the trigger of your impatience, especially if it isn’t something important
- Walk away from the trigger of your impatience if possible
- People aren’t perfect and things do go wrong. Try calm discussion and self-control rather than impatience to manage the situation
- Don’t set yourself and others standards that are too difficult to reach
- Change your attitude. Some things just can’t be rushed. Almost anything really good in life takes time and dedication. Most of the time you have to be patient to get what you want.
Remember the saying: Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way!
Quotations on patience
The following quotes on patience may be an inspiration to you:
“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success” (Brian Adams).
“There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness” (Franz Kafka).
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent” (Isaac Newton).
“Patience is the companion of wisdom” (Saint Augustine).
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them − every day begin the task anew” (Saint Francis de Sales).
“Patience is the greatest of all virtues” (Cato the Elder).