"Patience is a virtue", "the patient dog eats the fattest bone" these were sayings I used to hear growing up not so much these days. These were all ways to tell us that learning how to be more patient was a good habit to possess especially for us young ones (see 5 Ways to Maintain Good Habits). I remember that my friend, Z once replied to the patient dog quote by saying “because the fastest dogs have already eaten the meat” and everyone burst into laughter. It's funny but it shows the mentality of impatience that floats around. Who can blame us though? When you see that the fast life is very attractive and flashy. Patience usually wins but ironically you
have to be patient to see it happen.
What Is Patience?
"Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset." Another definition is that it is the ability to wait on something or someone without getting annoyed or anxious and it is one of the pillars of success.
Are "Patience" and "Waiting" The Same?
I believe that if patience and waiting were in the same company, waiting will be a lower level worker and patience will be the C.E.O. Patience isn't just about waiting plainly or aimlessly, it's about waiting with intent and in order to take certain actions at the right time. Patience in many regards doesn't mean be idle, because you know what they say "an idle man is the devil's workshop", you have to put in the work! For example, we've heard a billion and one songs about how an artist was broke and then their lives took a crazy turn for the better. Some of these artists were working low income jobs and also making music which culminates into a 'fateful day' or a hit song. If they were merely waiting then it may seem like a waste of time but if you're patient you'll feel you're investing your time. Remember that...
Benefits of Patience
Patience is a skill that we should all possess but sadly many of us don't. Some are naturally more patient than others but that shouldn't discourage others who aren't to not acquire the skill of patience. Patience is closely linked to success like this...
Here are the 3 main benefits you`ll get by becoming more patient:
i. Less Stress
Panic and impatience are closely linked together and of course they lead to stress. Patience on the hand is more attributed to being calm and collected in the midst of the crashing waves of life. Patience is also closely related with religious figures who were enlightened. For example, in the Bible, there was a story about Jesus and some of his disciples where there was a sea storm, he was calmly sleeping and his disciples were panicking so they had to wake him up and he told the sea to be quiet and it obeyed. Stress gone! For some practical tips on reducing stress see 7 Effective Stress-Busting Techniques for Salespeople by Tenfold. By becoming more patient you'll greatly reduce stress in your life. There's the popular saying 'good things come to those who wait' and when you understand this concept you'll be more welcoming of patience into your heart leading to less stress. For example, farmers know that when they plant seeds that depending on the type of seed they will require various degrees of patience, corn takes about 6 months or little more and an orange tree take years to produce fruit. If farmers start getting annoyed with the orange tree after 6 months then they must be mad.
2. Your Decision-Making Game Gets Stronger!
Impulsive decisions are cool and all but they don't always work and definitely not for everyone. Good decision-making requires a cool head and rationality to arrive at the best option (see Indecisive Much? How to Deal with Indecision in 10 Ways!). This will require patience, you may have heard the saying "never reply when you're angry. Never make a promise when you're happy. Never make a decision when you're sad." All these things are emotions and they are subject to change quickly and they usually lack the patience of rationality. Assessing your decisions and then making them patiently will lessen the chances of making rash decisions or making preventable mistakes. You don't want a situation of 'had I known'... those kinda sentences never end well.
3. You Can Develop Better Relationships
When you're more patient with others you get to build better relationships instead of burning bridges more often than you should. It doesn't mean you should let them take you for granted but you should be more understanding of the next person. For example, if you're working with people, micromanaging them is not beneficial because they'll talk behind your back and it may yield sub par results. When you're more patient with people they tend to appreciate it. Who wouldn't appreciate someone who understands no one is perfect and accommodates their mistakes and shortcomings?
Impatience according to the Cambridge dictionary means "the feeling of being annoyed by someone's mistakes or because you have to wait." And "the feeling of wanting something to happen as soon as possible."
We all get impatient for several reasons, maybe your pizza delivery guy is taking too long or the old woman in front of you is taking too long to check out of the grocery store or the truck in front of you is keeping you stuck in traffic. You'll probably say things like "this is taking forever" or "this person is getting on my nerves" or if we're honest you'll use a curse word or two. In his book, The Assignment Mike Murdock said our body doesn't like waiting and it reacts to it, funny enough the few times our body is more willing to wait involves procrastination lol (see 8 Practical Solutions to Procrastination). Here are a few physical signs of impatience according to WikiHow:
- Tension in your muscles
- Restlessness, jiggling feet or legs
- Clenching of your fists
- Short breaths
- An elevated heart rate
- Irritability or anger
- Tapping of fingers
How to be More Patient
For the purposes of these tips patience will cover things from the mundane like waiting on the queue, anger, stress, achieving your dreams or figuring your life out, habits, social media etc. Without further ado here are some tips on how to be more patient:
1. Understand And Counteract Your Triggers
Impatience is a habit and just like any other habit it is triggered. For everyone their trigger(s) may differ but they're only there to kick start the habit (see How to Break Your Bad Habits). One of the first things you have to do to know what triggers your impatience. For example, what triggers you to send a series of texts when the person hasn't replied you after 5 minutes? What thoughts or feelings made you trigger happy with your fingers, texting away?
You should to proceed to ask yourself why are you feeling this particular way? Why is the fact that your text has gone unanswered after 5 minutes vex you? Perhaps you're insecure (see Beefing Up Your Security: How to Overcome Insecurity) or you're in urgent need of immediate assistance or it may be some thing else. Some other reasons for impatience may be underestimating the task you're carrying out, the weather (it rains too much or the summer heat refuses to come down), or your gadgets malfunctioning (my laptop is being a dickhead right now) etc.
Next thing to do is to create a personal plan on how to deal with your triggers (see 11 Steps for Creating an Effective Plan). Make a list of your most common triggers. Ask yourself what you can do to keep the door closed wherever and whenever impatience comes knocking in these situations.
Once you've answered these questions then you'll understand your triggers better and can work resolving them through a step-by-step process. Some common techniques are counting to 10 or breathing exercises. Don't be afraid to get creative with your solutions, they don't have to be conventional because results are what counts. "Give yourself time to change; it won’t happen overnight, but you’ll be able to improve yourself in time."
2. Build Self-Confidence
Impatience can occur as a result of disappointment, frustration, lack of understanding or even insecurity. It's quite the complex feeling and it sucks when you look around you and see others progressing but you feel stuck (see 10 Ways to Get Unstuck in Life). You want things to go as you hope or even for something to happen, anything! All that happens seems to be nothing. You want to speed things but that ain't working either, mean how do you make a snail go faster? Maybe dip it in nitro like the Turbo movie? When you're self-confident you can accept that some things take more time so you'll need to exercise patience (see 12 Tips to Boost Self-Confidence and Self-Esteem). You can't fight against it just move along with it. To become more patient, you need to realise that patience and confidence go hand in hand and try not to compare yourself to others too much (see Stop Comparing Yourself! It's a Losing Game!).
3. Make Yourself Wait
Social media has made instant gratification more instant that it has ever been. Instagram likes, Facebook shares or Twitter retweets can show you instant result! This sort of gratification looks great and may seem like the best option but we've seen the repercussions it can have, i.e. the lengths people can go to keep up appearances. For example, summer '17 there was a story buzzing about a girl in the U.K., RLT who went on YouTube to say she was broke and had little time left to be able to stay in the UK, her visa was expiring and she didn't have money to sort it out. On Instagram she posted a lot of pics of her in expensive clothes, shoes and whatnot only for her to turn around saying she can't afford the visa fees. So people were wondering how she had all those expensive items but couldn't afford the fees, correct me if I'm wrong but she said that she didn't keep the items, she gave them back to the brands.
Lack of patience is what makes so many young people go for the fast life or easy way out which for the most part involves crime such as yahoo yahoo (internet scamming), rape, ritual killings, drug dealing, theft, gang violence etc. The truth is that staying in that life doesn't end well, if you drive too fast you'll lose control and crash. Proverbs 21: 6 says "the riches you get by dishonesty soon disappear, but not before they lead you into the jaws of death". For example, if you've watched Narcos (based on true events) then you'll know about Pablo Escobar who was a notorious Colombian drug entrepreneur who had at least $30 billion but ended up being killed on a roof top or Osama Bin Laden who ended up being killed and put on the news everywhere.
It is better to wait because it'll make us happier in future especially when you're eating the fruits of your labour. The only way to learn how to be patient is continuous and meaningful practice. You can start with delaying favourite TV show, delay your reaction to annoying or stressful situations or people, etc. It might seem inconsequential now but it is a build up of small things that make up big things, for example, the human body is made up of millions of very small cells.
4. Leave Your Comfort Zone
There's this mentality of being comfortable all the time and we tend to get impatient with discomfort like fire under our asses we jump up immediately! Nothing lasts forever especially something as fleeting as 'comfort', it only occurs in moments. Embrace being uncomfortable like it is your long lost twin and you'll build up more patience. So, let go of the notion that you have to be comfortable all the time and watch how your life begins to transform subsequently.
5. Perspective Change
In this life, you can't control too much but you can certainty control and change your perspective. How you see something will determine how you behave. If you find yourself in an unwanted situation, try to look for something interesting or a silver-lining to it to shift you away from impatience. Impatience might make you feel good in the moment and why not your hormones are having a field day but focusing on the interesting or positive has a greater and better effect in the long run.
You can also try to be productive if you find yourself in a position where you have to wait especially more than you bargained for, this way you can practice time management (see The Clock is Always Ticking: 13 Time Management Tips) and patience at the same time. For example, if you find yourself in a waiting room you can read an interesting book.
Most people struggling with patience can never answer this question.
“Why are you in such a hurry?”
Most of you that'll read this are between 18-30 and may be in a rush to want to 'make it', yes the fast life keeps calling and just like the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, it is very easy on the eye but the repercussions are grave and social media doesn't really help either, people are steadily flexing on the gram. I remember saying to my boss that I feel like I don't have enough time to figure things out, she asked how old I was, I told her and she said that I'm still quite young and some things require time and patience and figuring things out is one of them. So in short, "try to keep an open perspective and don’t give yourself useless stress."
6. Exercise & Meditation
Exercise is a way to release stress built up inside like a geyser shooting out hot steam, think about it as stress excretion as you sweat. Impatience has a lot to do with stress for example, if you're stressed from work or school you're more likely to be more impatient with an annoying sibling and you may lash out and call them names. Try to exercise on a frequent if not everyday basis, something as simple as stretching a quick 5 minute evening stroll while listening to music will release your stress making you a more cool headed person. If you wanna go the extra mile do some intensive training like HIIT (high intensity interval training), weight training, some people even do boxing as a way to channel their anger or release pent up aggression into punching bags.
Exercise also works to counteract your impulsive impatience in the moment. For example, my laptop has been giving me some issues and when I'm getting impatient with it I wanna punch the screen but I remember I need it so I take a break by walking for a bit. It usually works.
Meditating is definitely a way to deal with impatience but you don't have to be like Beyonce is in the GIF above, simply sitting normally is fine. Before meditating, take each moment of potential impatience to do a quick self-analysis of what is causing the impatience. Practice your deep breathing either by sitting or standing, notice your breathing patterns with your eyes closed, noticing the thoughts that float around your head but don't chase after any one or be frantic that you just thought of such a disgusting thing just let it all flow like a river undisturbed. Impatience can cause muscle tension so when you meditate you'll be more relaxed and your heart rate slows down which happens the opposite way in exercise but it works regardless. Think of meditating like drinking a warm cup of tea in a spa with good music playing in the background.
You should meditate even when you're not necessarily feeling impatient so that you'll get used to it and can easily do it when it's needed. For meditation purposes, check out the Headspace app available on the Play Store and App Store, it has a nice British man talking with a very soothing voice lol.
A combination of both meditation and exercise I think would be yoga so you can give it a try.
7. Control Your Emotions
Impatience can occur as an emotional response to stress but we can control our emotions, the bicycle doesn't ride the person, the person rides the bicycle. Being patient is a personal choice and sometimes you just have to force yourself to calm down. You can speak to yourself to calm down or just behave in a calm manner even when you're furious and eventually you'll be calm. For example, as kids, our parents may be angry with us but sometimes they try to calm down so they don't do anything rash to us. This is a 'fake it till you make it' situation so when you act calm your brain will slowly believe you and calm down.
Please be respectable to others as well so you don't deliberately make anyone impatient, don't be a prick. If you're running late for something please let the other person or people know because their time is precious to them.
On a final note, patience pays but impatience is costly. Patience is key to living a better life, a patient fisherman will catch more fish and a patient lion will eat the best meat and will not go hungry for long like the lions in Port Harcourt zoo.
i. "Patience serves as a protection against wrongs as clothes do against cold. For if you put on more clothes as the cold increases, it will have no power to hurt you. So in like manner you must grow in patience when you meet with great wrongs, and they.” - Leonardo da Vinci
ii. "Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is "timing" it waits on the right time to act, for the right principles and in the right way." - Fulton J. Sheen
WELP! THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS! NOW...
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Related: 5 Tips for Dealing with Stress
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My name is Ofai and I'm passionate about blogging and it gives me fulfillment that I can help you out so sit back, relax and enjoy your weekly carats of #SelfImprovementGems with me!