How often do you lose your patience?

Do you find yourself constantly getting wound by things taking too long?

In a world where we live life in the fast lane, sometimes in can be hard to keep up.

If you’re like me you may have found yourself rushing, pushing and constantly trying to speed things up, make things go faster.

Sometimes life feels like a constant battle where you’re chasing your tail in pursuit of one thing to the next.

But really when you think about it – what’s the rush?

I’m going to share some techniques for ‘being patient’ in a moment, but first lets take a look at ‘impatience’ and where it stems from.

Why are people impatient?

I have several theories on this.

The first is simple evolution. The world has changed incredibly in the last 20 or so years. If you look at the pace of technology (I mean imagine a world without internet, mobile phones, facebook!), the way in which we live our lives has changed dramatically – and continues to do so on a daily basis.

We are taught to ‘save time’ by using things like email and SMS messages and to ‘multitask’ in everything that we do (which by the way has been proven to be flawed – I’ll cover this in another post shortly).

And yet in my opinion, many of these things actually slow us down. We have become slaves to email and proficient at doing many things at one time – albeit not very well.

What ever happened to the ‘quality’ of what we do and taking ‘pride’ in our efforts?

Whatever happened to stopping to ‘think’ about things instead of rushing to just ‘get stuff done?’

Secondly, I believe as a global nation (the Eastern world excluded) we have become obsessed with ‘achieving’. We value ourselves based on the ‘goals’ that we have completed throughout our lives.

It’s like life is one long ‘To Do’ list and the aim is to tick off each item as quickly as is humanely possible so you can move onto the next ‘thing’.

Not that there is anything wrong with pursuing goals, I believe this can be a healthy approach to life – but we need to take care not to ‘miss out on life’ too much in the process.

I myself used to be the ‘queen’ of achievement. With an indomitable will I would reach my goals come hell or high-water. But the thing was – at what cost? And believe me there is always a cost. For me it would often be my health – I would run myself into the ground until my body said ‘enough is enough!’.

And so now I take a more ‘balanced’ approach to life and goals in general. I’ve learned to be patient and to still set goals, but to pursue them with a flexible, open-minded approach.

What does being impatient achieve?

The thing is – what does being ‘impatient’ actually achieve? Does it get you faster results? Or does it simply provide frustration, anger and discontent?

In my experience, it’s the latter – and so once you realise that ‘impatience’ is actually not a productive behavioural pattern at all, it’s likely you’ll decide not to bother with it – I mean what would be the point?

The reality is – some things take time and no amount of impatience will help. Imagine planting a seed today and then tomorrow impatiently trying to ‘will’ it to sprout. You can try all you like, that seed ain’t gonna sprout until it’s ready! Good things take time to grow and develop and the sooner we embrace this the better.

The other thing that I’ve noticed when it comes to impatience is that it can ‘block’ opportunities. I’ve written before about ‘Open Minded Action’ and how it’s crucial to be open to alternative solutions and this applies with ‘impatience’. If we are too rigidly focussed on trying to force something to happen through impatience, we can often miss other more exciting and valid solutions.

So – if you feel like impatience really works for you and gets you the results you want in life, by all means hold onto it.

Alternatively you could let it go and focus on being productive and content instead.

The choice is yours 🙂

Simple Life Strategy: How to be Patient

1. Start to notice the next time you feel the sensation of impatience – does your blood pressure start to rise, and do you feel anxious?

2. Consider what your feelings of ‘impatience’ will achieve for you? Will they help or hinder your progress?

3. Take a deep breath and practice ‘open minded action’ – let go of trying to force one particular way of doing things.

4. Open your mind – actively look for alternative solutions that may help you on your way – but do so in a calm and collected way.

5. Choose balance over ‘forced results’ knowing that you will reach your goal but it doesn’t have to cost everything including your sanity!

If you know someone who can be a little impatient form time to time, why not share this post with them!

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