“Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.”
― Paulo Coelho
Patiently, this beautiful virtue lies wrapped in our bustling world, like a cache, waiting for exercise and appreciation. It improves our decision making, builds empathy and compassion for others, strengthens self-control and perseverance, and greatly enhances the relationships in our lives.
The ability to wait, however, seems to be slipping out of our hurried grasp. Almost gone are the days of anxiously waiting for an endearing letter, saving for something special, or simply taking a deep breath and giving thought to a response. For there is now instant/impersonal communication (which can be a double-edged sword), off-the-chart credit spending, and a disregard for common courtesy and respect in conversation. This is in large part due to instant gratification, the ugly cousin of patience. To demand, or need, immediate satisfaction is to forfeit oh-so-rewarding anticipation, and integrity.
Patience can be a personality trait, or gained through self-disciplined daily practice. Below is a helpful list of Patience Building Exercises:
Tips on How to Develop Patience
- Take an entire day where you make patience your goal
- Be present
- Slow down
- Practice delaying gratification…and ask yourself if it’s a want or a need
- Practice thinking before you speak
- Learn how to fish
- Get a slow pet
- Garden…plant a seed and care for it until it bares fruit
- Play an old fashioned board game
- Eat a 12 ounce chocolate bar in a month
- Put together a 2000 piece jigsaw puzzle
- Set dates for craves
The Marshmallow Test (watch immediately, a sure classic!) https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=the+marshmallow+test&qpvt=the+marshmallow+test&view=detail&mid=FA22BF0181BF2EC85094FA22BF0181BF2EC85094&FORM=VRDGAR
How then do we silence this obnoxious relative called instant gratification? Will they melt away with water, like the dark wicked witch? Are we to patiently tolerate this noisy beast? Modeling alone is sadly insufficient, so serious intrinsic & extrinsic incentives are needed, “the” payoff, if you will.
They come in the forms of: stronger character, increased trust from others, reduced stress, le$$ debt, a sense of accomplishment when you’ve arrived at your goal, the treat you were saving for, anticipation, greater fortitude and restraint, and kindly giving yourself the gift of calm and peacefulness.
The patience we exercise in ourselves and with others, essentially displays the level at which we live life with virtue, and is worth every ounce we give it.