Why is it so hard to be patient? It’s something we have heard since childhood, our parents nagging us to “please be patient honey” over something that we are dying to have, yet even as adults we have a hard time with it. Often, it has to do with some strong desire to have something we don’t have yet or be somewhere we aren’t right now.
Where does impatience come from? There are so many reasons that we can get impatient: frustration with a person or situation (traffic!), not wanting to deal with a present situation, wanting something in the future to happen now, and many others. Much of this has to do with our personalities and the rest has to do with our super sonic fast culture where we can get what we want, when we want, from anywhere. We contact friends in seconds via text. We can’t find something in a store? No problem, I’ll just buy online. There isn’t much in our lives that requires us to be patient so when we need to be— it seems impossible.
Ultimately, patience is about being in the present moment which for many is well, pretty tough. If we are stuck somewhere we don’t want to be we can pull out our phones to distract us until the times passes. So, why does it pay to be patient?
If you are being patient and living in the moment than you are not missing out on all the potentially amazing things going on around you. Instead of being on some app on your phone, look at what is going on around you. Really tune in and maybe you will notice something you haven’t before or talk to someone you have never met. If you are rushing to get somewhere and you are getting impatient about it— what does that get you but stress and frustration? You might as well enjoy the ride, listen to some music (if you are rushing in your car) and just get there when you get there. Or when you are frustrated or upset about something in your life and you just want it to be over— patience can heal. If you allow yourself to feel the pain and frustration it will pass through you instead of burying down by focusing on some future scenario that may or may not happen.
So, patience is great. Got it. Easier said then done, right? Here are a few ways to get you on your way to being more patient:
1. Start to recognize the moments in your day that make you impatient. Maybe right them down and try to figure out what is the cause of that impatience.
2. Next time you notice something making you impatient— ask yourself “is this worth the stress I am feeling right now? How can I look at this situation differently?”
3. Take a long deep breath. It is going to be okay. Things always shift and change and whatever you are losing your patience with will also pass at some point.
4. Remember the future doesn’t really exist. It is in our minds. So, if you are patient than you are living in the present moment—because all that we have is right now.