My house is on the market and it feels like I have been living in limbo for the past few months. I like stability and all this uncertainty has created a sense of impatience in me. I am impatiently waiting for my house to sell. I am impatiently waiting to find a new house and I am impatiently wondering how it will all turn out. And then I remind myself Patience is a virtue. In fact, patience is a virtue that pays dividends.
It is so hard to be patient. Especially in modern society where we expect everything instantaneously and depend on instant gratification from things like Netflix, Youtube and Google. But trust me, patience is a skill that is worth honing.
About this time last year, I was SUPER pregnant. I’m talking over 40 weeks, which, if you don’t know anything about pregnancy means past 9 months, in other words, ABOUT. TO. POP. At the time, I was plagued by the same sense of impatience that I am currently experiencing about the sale of my house. I was impatiently waiting to know when I would go into labor, impatiently wondering how it would go down and impatiently worrying about my baby’s health and safety. Because I had a previous c-section, I could have side stepped over the impatience and scheduled the birth, but after learning about all the health benefits of having a natural birth, I decided the trial on my patience would be worth it. And it was! 2 weeks after my due date I had my healthy baby boy, and labor went great! Unlike my c-section delivery where it took weeks to feel back to normal, I felt totally fine the day my baby was born. Patience in that case paid off.
And patience will pay off for you too. If you get impatient in the search to find your perfect partner, you might end up in a bad relationship out of your desperation to find a match. If you are sitting in traffic and you begin to feel impatient, does that get you to your destination faster? No. It simply makes you more stressed and angry by the time you arrive. If you get impatient with the process of getting in shape—working out and eating right and decide to go back to your old habits because you are not seeing results right away do you think you will ever get the results you desire? No! Of course not. These situations, like many others in your life, require patience.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in taking action and working toward what you want to accomplish. But I think patience is a complement to that. Action is great in situations where you have control and can take action. Patience is necessary when you don’t have control and when action is not necessary. I think of taking action as sowing the seed for your success and patience as the time it takes for those seed to blossom.
So how can you have more patience? Well, it helps to know that patience is like a muscle. As you exercise patience, your ability to be patient grows. So next time you find yourself in a situation that requires patience, don’t get frustrated, look at it as an opportunity to strengthen your patience “muscle.” If you are feeling impatient, try techniques to help mollify that feeling. Deep breathing and meditation are two great ways to help calm feelings of impatience. It can also help to look back on your past and recall times that required patience and how you made it through and how that patience paid off.
As you can see, patience is an important virtue to cultivate. The more patience you can find in each day the more peacefully you will journey through life. There are many situations where you will have no control, and getting worried, anxious and impatient will only hurt you. As Arnold Glasow said “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”
Do you struggle with having patience? How do you handle it?