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Mar 10, 2021

Patience is the ability to maintain discipline and focus even when things take much longer than expected. It’s another basic but crucial success skill that will serve you well throughout life.


Why Is It Important

Good things come to those who are patient. I’m sure you’ve come across this old saying. It’s true, and there are some very good reasons why you should work on your patience level. Let me name a few. 

Being patient keeps you from making hasty decisions. It’s easy to get swept up in a moment of high emotion and make a decision that we regret almost as soon as we make it. Patience gives us the ability to wait, even if it’s just long enough to let tempers cool and give it the consideration it deserves.

We live in a world of instant gratification where you can download any movie, song, or book you want within seconds. Hundreds of thousands of products can be shipped to our homes the next day. With this kind of attitude of wanting it now, it’s becoming harder and harder to realize that some good things take time to develop and build. You don’t create a good marriage in a day or grow a healthy business in a week. And, most “overnight successes” actually had many years of hard work and effort behind the scenes. In short, our world isn’t as instantly gratifying as we’ve been led to believe.

Last but not least, we value things we had to be patient for, more than something that just falls into our lap. If increased satisfaction and happiness is your goal in life, patience is an important skill you want to embrace.


How To Get Started

The first step to becoming more patient is to realize moments when you are impatient and to stop that behavior. Start paying more attention to those aggravating moments because you’re stuck in traffic or have to wait for something (or someone). Acknowledge the feeling of impatience and then take a deep breath. Count to ten, or do some simple breathing exercises to stop yourself in your tracks. Once you’ve calmed down a bit, you can start to think objectively about the situation and realize that it isn’t the problem you thought it was. In the big scheme of things getting to your destination a few minutes later than anticipated isn’t that big of a deal.

By realizing that things aren’t as bad as you first thought, it becomes easier to be patient and wait it out.


Improving Your Skills

Patience is a skill that you can learn with simple practice. Practicing what I shared with you above will help you become more patient over time. Of course, that’s not the only thing you can do.

The key to increasing patience is becoming more aware of yourself and your surroundings. In other words, you want to work on mindfulness to increase patience. There are several different things you can do to increase mindfulness. 

The first and probably most effective way is to try meditation. Find a meditation exercise that sounds interesting and give it a try. Another great option is journaling. It forces you to clarify your thoughts by putting them on paper. Any journal will work, manual or electronic. You can jot down your thoughts and ideas, or try a gratitude journal where you write down a few things you are grateful for each day.

The key with this as with any of the other skills is consistency. You want to create better success habits, one task, and one day at a time.

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