“I love when a plan comes together.” – Johon “Hannibal” Smit.

The hard definition of patience is the “capacity of calm endurance (Websters New Riverside University Dictionary, 1984).” Basically, to be patient is to:

  • handle affliction, and inconvenience
  • be forever understanding and tolerant
  • and just endure without complaint

But, who of us is ever going to be this patient? Calm? Zen?

Many people think that being patient is about having the capacity to slow down so the world can catch up with you, or having the time to deal with inconvenience, affliction, or complaint without frustration: Contained internally or expressed externally.

Guess what?

It’s not.

Patience is about taking the time to slow down so you can catch up.

We could cover 5 tips here for you to deploy in your life that would teach you to manage your time better, instill automatic response systems for inconvenience, and help you resolve conflict within your life in a smooth manner in the way countless online articles address this issue. However, that’s all about time management, conflict resolution, and comfort levels. None of that will help you have and feel patience in your life.

The Consequences of Impatience

The consequences of a person’s impatience can be seen by outsiders because we wear them every day.

  • Obesity
  • Overeating
  • Habits like smoking
  • Impulse purchases
  • Insufficient savings
  • Road Rage

Every single one of these, and more, are consequences of a person’s impatience.

Causes of impatience

A lot of things bring about a person’s inability to be patient. Spoiled children, for example, often have trouble with patience through childhood and into adulthood because they never learn to wait.

We live in a society where, thanks to smart phones and online shopping, we have constant access to same-day delivery and immediate answers. Unwelcome stressors such as traffic jams, long lines, waking up to a dirty kitchen, running out of glitter or a misaligned bobbin mid project, your dog peeing on your bedroom floor, and a full parking lot with no empty spaces .

5 Tips

So, what do you do to learn more patience in these situations and life in general?

Very simply put:

  • Define
  • Pace
  • Pause
  • Connect
  • Embrace

Define

Figure out what’s testing your patience. You can’t address what’s wrong until you honestly pinpoint the issue at hand. Is it really an inability to find a parking spot, or is it really because you stayed up later than you should’ve last night, and now you’re late?

Take an honest assessment of what tests your patience.

Pace

The world does not revolve around you. Also, you’re not moving so fast that the world can’t keep up. That’s physically impossible. Many people take the erroneous perspective that they should slow down and be patient with others to allow others to catch up.

That’s not your job.

Your job is to set your pace so that you work with the processes of the world around you. We’re all parts of the machine. Figure out where you belong, and pace yourself accordingly. Also, remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t tire yourself out too quickly.

Pause

Pausing isn’t the same as waiting. Don’t wait for the world to revolve around you or your needs. That’ll never happen.

One of the first thing dog owners learn is this part of patience. A new puppy or an older dog adopted from the SPCA is going to come with challenges. No successful dog owner has ever been able to force their new dog to comply with their timing schedule right off hand. We train dogs in obedience, leash etiquette, and potty rules. But dog owners also have to take the time to pause with the dog to get a sense of their personality and needs.

Connect

Take the time to stop and connect with the world around you. It’s very easy to lose your patience with your upstairs neighbor every time they walk across the floor or flush a toilet. Take the time to get to know your neighbor.

You might come to understand that some people simply walk on their bones. Also, when you connect with the world around you, those in your environment become easier to deal with during times of crisis or conflict because you’re all connected to each other in some way.

Finally, Embrace

Work on your resilience. Many times, the most pressing stressors in our lives come from discomfort. The very essence of resilience is the ability to be comfortable with discomfort. Many times, we find ourselves outside of our comfort zones, stressed out, with no idea of what to do next or how to deal. Step out of your comfort zone from time to time.