Words To Live By: Patience

pa·tience – noun 1. the quality of being patient,  as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.

2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

The above is about this Word To Live By – Patience. This is a definition I found on the Web.

Besides being a really good Guns ‘N Roses song, Patience is something we all may struggle with from time to time.

Sometimes we want our child to heal quicker, get through that rough period ; maybe we want to work out a relationship issue faster; we want a new job quicker; we want the home to sell/close faster; we want to get pregnant quicker; we want the medical results back sooner; we want our loved one to recover now; we want the payment to come to us faster; – in general we want that something to be resolved faster.

But we must learn patience.

I have read different points of view on patience – some say that we need to go with the flow and ride the waves that life gives us, be patient and just go with it. Others say we need hard, specific goals, and we go for those goals in specifically defined action steps and we don’t give up. I fall somewhere in between – I think we need goals and we need a plan but sometimes we need to accept, have faith, and listen to life. I’m not always certain how much of either – it is a balancing act.

Patience involves acceptance of the situation. Patience is about having faith that things will come, faith in yourself that you can do it. Patience is about calmly and confidently going for it, instead of being in a panic or rush. Patience is about living in the present, taking our time, living in the moment….don’t rush it, experience it, live in the now.

I found it interesting that the above definition mentioned ‘ without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like’. Great advice, right?

I also think that we all can probably improve by thinking about the definition “quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence”

Sometimes when I catch myself being impatient, I step back a moment, remind myself to be patient. Then I often at least feel a little better and sometimes I actually come up with an idea or action step that might help me get closer to the goal.

I remember when I was in a tough financial situation. We had an issue with our mortgage company- they owed us an overpayment of insurance funds but wouldn’t release it. They also would not resolve another issue for about a month, for no specific reason. I was also looking to either improve my income in a large way or find a new job. I was anxious. I woke up in the morning and I dreaded going to work. I woke up in a panic many times. I was short and crabby with my kids. Not cool.

It wasn’t always easy but when I practiced patience, I was better able to handle the mortgage lender and their requests. I was better about doing my work and being productive. I was certainly a better father and husband.

In the big picture, whether you are religious or not, let’s face it, our needs and wants in time and space are actually pretty ridiculous. We get impatient when our text takes 35 seconds to send instead of 10 seconds. We get impatient when our direct deposit takes 2 days. We easily forget that we received hard copies of paper checks for pay day not long ago that took longer. We didn’t have texting not long ago. Our email process was much slower not long ago.

It is pretty funny too that we get upset by delays in traffic, in our home, in our work of days, weeks or even months. In a lifetime none of that matters does it? In the grand scheme of things timing seems to work out well doesn’t it?

I recall waiting and waiting for something to clear, something to arrive, for something to be resolved. I thought it was so important to have THAT thing NOW. In many cases it worked out much better to have arrived later.


Do you think Impatience can help you in your career or life?

How do you balance patience in regards to “go with the flow” or “set goals and go for it no matter what” – where do you sit on the spectrum?

What ideas do you have to share about patience?

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