Patience is the best remedy for every trouble.
Titus Maccius Plautus
You probably know those situations when you stand in line in a grocery store and there is a person (usually an old lady) in front of you who buys a ton of things and then gets about 100 coupons out of her pocket book. The girl (or a guy) at the cash register has to manually type in each of these coupon codes, figure out why about half of them do not work and explain to the lady why her bill is 10 cents higher than what she thought it would be. Oh, and don’t forget that she wants to write a check to pay for her groceries but she can’t find her glasses so you spend another 10 minutes standing in line and thinking of all possible torture that she deserves. Before you know it (actually you do know it because you look at the clock about every 2 seconds) you have wasted 20 minutes of your valuable time and now you are late, angry and infuriated.
Even the most patient people in the world would probably lose it in situations like this one. However, you do not have to. There are many more situations in our lives that require profound patience and I know it probably better than anybody else.
Last year was nothing but a test of patience for me and my husband. Besides from raising two toddlers (a task that requires enormous amounts of patience), we were waiting for an answer about the house that we’d put a bid on. We were ready to move on with our lives but we were stuck living with my in-laws and not knowing what future held for us. It wasn’t until 2010 that we finally got the house (actually the house that we bought is not the one that we’d placed a bid on.) I am very grateful for everything that happened in 2009 because it taught me the most important skill of all – PATIENCE.
There is more than one reason why you need patience. Of course you do not want to get mad in situations like the one I’ve described above or when you are stuck in traffic. You also want to take the most of your life and not spend all your time being frustrated and mad at situations that you cannot change. You also want to see results from your endeavors whether it is starting a new business, a blog or losing weight.
Patience is a skill that will pay off greatly because you will be able to find balance, happiness and success in your life. Actually I do not know how you can find these things without patience
Our world is fast-paced and time is one of our most valuable resources. However, the next time that you want to see things going faster remember that the only fast thing in our life is failing because of an impatient decision. Climbing to the top always requires time and a lot of patience.
If you are ready to change yourself and learn patience then look through these tips that I have learned while looking for life balance:
- Identify your triggers. This is simple. Just find out when you get impatient so that you are ready for action. It’s like solving a mathematical word problem. Before you can come up with an equation and an answer you must know your data.
Some people get impatient in traffic and lines and others are impatient with kids. Some might give up any new venture if it does not bring results within a few days (of course the guilty party will be a business partner or circumstances) and others will get mad every time that their 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.)
- Become mindful. We are often impatient because we constantly think about the future instead of living in the present. If you become mindful of every moment of your life then you will be able to appreciate each of these moments. 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.
- Fill your time. Try to think of things that you can do while waiting. Do not concentrate on the fact that you are late or that you are bored and you want everything to be fast. Stretch out while you are in a traffic jam and think of the most pleasant moments of your life while you are standing in line. Plan what you are going to fix for supper or think of a new post idea (apparently, this is something that I do a lot :-)) while you are waiting for somebody who is late or just fly away into you own dreamland. We get mad because we feel that our time is wasted but if you find something important to do then you won’t even notice how the time flies.
- Exercise your patience. Here is a simple yet powerful exercise to train your patience. Sit still for 10 minutes or more without doing anything. It is much harder than it seems at first because you will notice how impatient you will get after about a minute. You can also walk as slow as you possibly can to your car in the parking lot 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.)
- Meditate. Meditation quiets your mind and teaches you patience. Try it as often as you can.
- Slow down. 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.
- Practice slow activities. The first time I tried Pilates I hated it because it seemed too slow and boring for me (I was used to kick-boxing, step and dancing.) However, as I continued exercising I noticed that my concentration and patience in general improved and now I can’t imagine my life without Pilates and Yoga. Apart from Body and Mind exercises you can also try slow activities like knitting, playing chess, painting, gardening or fishing (I personally can’t stand fishing though. It’s too boring for me but tastes differ :-)). Learn to appreciate the process of waiting and the result that you get in the end.
- Ask for patience. Depending on your spiritual beliefs you can choose to ask for patience. I can tell you that last year I was asking for patience a lot and I think that my prayers were heard because I got through the year without any nervous breakdowns. I also got everything I was patiently waiting for and I am extremely happy about it.
- Get a slow pet. You can always get a turtle and watch it every night and admire its patient way of life. I am sure that watching a turtle or a snail can put you in a very meditative state of mind and you will be able to learn the power of patience.
- Play games that develop patience. How about playing a Solitaire? Here is The Complete Book of Solitaire and Patience Games. Some other games that develop patience are different types of crossword puzzles (here are a few websites where you can try them – Japanese Crosswords , Crosswords and Sudoku at Washington Post)
- Count till 10 or 100. This tip is super easy and works every time. When you get mad and impatient in any situation just leave the room or just close your eyes and count till 10, 100 (somebody might even need a 1000 :-))
- Breathe. As always there is nothing better than the simple and pure power of breathing. Take a deep breath in and breathe out, once again. Now imagine that the tension in your entire body melts away and you are flowing softly in the stream of serenity. Continue breathing deeply. In and out, in and out. You can close your eyes and imagine that you are on the edge of the most amazing waterfall that carries away your impatience and tension and fills you with serenity, calmness and patience.
Do you need some patience n your life? Please tell me if any of these tips were helpful for you and if you have any of your own secrets that help you practice patience.
Keep it balanced and patient!