Patience, a challenge for most of us, is the ability to tolerate waiting, delay, or frustration without becoming agitated or upset. It is being able to control your emotions or impulses and proceed calmly when faced with difficult or frustrating situations. It comes from the Latin word pati which means to suffer, to endure, to bear.
Needless to say, patience is not easy to attain and it’s probably harder now to achieve than ever before. In today’s world of ‘instant everything’, technological advancements and readily available credit have allowed us to obtain, experience, and consume practically anything we want – almost immediately. Do we even need to be patient anymore?
Well, if we want to reach our goals, have successful relationships and achieve personal peace, the answer is a resounding yes!
Anything worthwhile and of importance cannot take place right away. It takes time, dedication and effort to achieve; so even in this day and age, patience is a virtue.
The Benefits of Developing Patience
- Reduces stress levels and makes you a happier, healthier person.When you learn and practice patience you don’t get as angry, stressed or overwhelmed. You are more in control of your emotions and in a better position to deal with difficult situations with ease and poise.This promotes longevity and makes you a happier, healthier person.
- Results in better decision-making. When you’re patient you take the time to assess the situation, see the big picture, and weigh any pros and cons. The chances of making a big mistake lessen because you avoid making it in haste. Taking the time to problem solve requires patience and deliberation.
- Helps develop understanding, empathy and compassion. You are automatically more understanding and compassionate with others when you yourself are patient. Patient people take the time to process what they go through and are able to determine what it takes to overcome obstacles so they are more understanding of others. This results in better, more fulfilling relationships with spouses, friends, children and bosses.
- Helps you understand and appreciate the process of growth. As mentioned earlier anything worthwhile takes time and effort to achieve. As the old saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Planning, growth, evaluation and measurement all take time, and taking time takes patience.
Tips on How to Develop Patience
- Take a day where you make patience your goal for the entire day. Make a concerted effort to take your time and think about everything you do, be mindful and live in the moment. At the end of the day, observe all the ways in which you’ve made smarter decisions, got along better with others and actually understood what took place. Learn to do it on a daily basis. Developing patience is much like physical exercise because it requires persistence and effort.
2. Slow down. If you have the tendency to rush around and try to hurry things up, want things done immediately and can’t wait for things to take their natural course, STOP. Take several deep breaths before you act or make a move. For example, if you’re in a long lineup at the grocery store or in heavy traffic, make the decision to pause and not get worked up. Do some isometrics, listen to the radio, or just enjoy the view. Getting impatient won’t make things move along any faster, so why get worked up for nothing?
3. Practice delaying gratification. When you want to reach for that dessert, second drink, or buying your tenth pair of red shoes, stop and think about it first. Maybe you don’t need or want any of them that badly after all. You can save yourself some money or added calories.
4. Practice thinking before you speak. At times we blurt out the first thought that comes into our heads without considering the consequences. If we’re patient, pause and go over what we want to say, we can avoid hurting or offending others.
Situations for which patience is a must:
– Reaching most goals
– Losing weight
– Having a baby
– Becoming a professional career person such as a doctor, lawyer, engineer
– Becoming a top athlete
– Becoming a virtuoso in any musical field
– The healing of any wounds or illnesses
– Getting over loss or tragedy
Patience is definitely a valuable character trait to develop. It may appear to be passive, however it is an active, purposeful and necessary form of self-discipline. Without patience many of our actions would be counter-productive and ultimately much time and energy would be wasted spinning our wheels. Surely, patience is a time-tested virtue.