How To Master The Art Of Patience

by Jason Anthony · 5 comments

Sometimes when we’re under-stimulated or a situation is lacking a certain luster, it’s easy to get irritated.

Other times we’re faced with difficulties and problems that we just have no tolerance for.

Problems and issues are a part of life, but they don’t have to be a source of ongoing pain if you work on becoming a more patient person. 

When we master ourselves and our ability to handle these circumstances it makes the greatest difference in our quest for personal development.

Picture a time in your mind when you have been bored, tired, frustrated, or anxious.

Perhaps you were stuck behind a slow driver in the fast lane or standing in a dead line at the bank.  You’ve got somewhere to be and something to do.  No time for the rest of this nonsense.

The appearance of less and less available time has become commonplace in our societies.

In an era of instant connectivity and access it has become the norm to fill in every waking hour of your day with tasks while juggling all of your other responsibilities.

Think for a second about how common time management, scheduling, forecasting, planning, coordination, tasking, evaluations, and research are in almost any professional industry.

Results are wanted and we needed them yesterday.

While sitting in your vehicle in traffic there’s almost always someone three cars back who lays on the horn as soon as the light turns green.

I’m sure you get the idea and most of us have all had experiences with being a little on edge.  What a lot of us fail to recognize though is that impatience can lead to emotional turmoil, poor health, and bad choices.

It promotes destructive decision making, less than favorable results, stress, and ultimately a feeling of helplessness.

Impatience Is An Ugly Attribute

A lot of what lies underneath our ability to be patient is how we handle irritable and/or bothersome circumstances.

This falls directly on how you manage your decisions and your decision making process is directly linked with the amount of success you will have in your life.

Impatience is being reactive to the elements around you.  

By choosing to act before you think you are making decisions which fall under a level of low maturity.

There was a great behavioral study performed at Stanford University in 1972 titled the “marshmallow experiment.”  In it, different children were each offered a marshmallow, and an enticing alternative.

If they could hold off on eating the marshmallow for fifteen minutes (an eternity for a child), they would then get an additional marshmallow as a reward.

The results of the study showed that the ability to delay gratification were directly related to the success of the child later in life.  They were described as being more competent and even scoring higher SAT scores.

Patience is the practice of being proactive.  

By choosing to think before you act, you’re capable of making decisions of a higher level of maturity and, ultimately, being more productive for yourself and others.

Patience Is Not About Waiting Around

True patience does not mean learning how to sit idle and do nothing.  It’s not the act of waiting in silence.

Patience is the art of putting action to work amidst less than favorable circumstances.  Tweet this

The truth is, there are just some days where things don’t go well or do not appear to be getting any easier.

When we exercise our ability to be patient it allows us to live more through and beyond those moments.

It’s having an understanding that a problem or boring situation is not permanent and developing the resolve to make a change and/or do something about it.

It even means exercising control in overly positive situations.  Sometimes we can be too excited to see things for what they are, skewing our decision making process.

If you’ve ever been so eager get something done, only to feel that you rushed it and made plenty of mistakes that had to be corrected, then you know what I’m talking about here.

How To Master The Art Of Patience

True patience is having the ability to take action and overcome negative emotions from within.  Knowing this, we have a great place to start refining our take on what surrounds us.

Now I’d like to share with you a few ideas that have worked for me and I know can serve you well for a long time to come if you’re willing to apply them in the right manner.

Identify the source

First we must be aware of our environment.  What are the conditions or who are the individuals at the root of your annoyance?

What is it that is happening around you that gives you the eagerness to make that immediate change?  On some level there will either be an action or behavior for which your level of tolerance decreases greatly.

By identifying just what they are we allow more room for ourselves to be constructive with how we handle them.

accept and embrace less than favorable situations

Let’s face it, the world around us waits for no one.  There are individuals and events that are just not going to cooperate with your plans or intentions, but that is not of your making.

Only you are in control of you.  Everything outside of yourself is not in your control.

Once you accept this as a reality you’ll start to notice mountains becoming mole hills.  You begin to see how easy it is to deal with difficult people and how simple it is to laugh in the face of trite circumstances.

However, you must exercise caution here.

While learning to embrace and accept certain situations, you must also learn and enhance your ability to say “no.”  This is one of the strongest decisions a person can make.  It reinforces to others that you have limits and boundaries which cannot be stepped across.

holding on to frustration does you no good

In most cases flipping out (or the bird) does little but provide a quick fix for you.

Yeah, it feels good to let it all out every now and then and there are certain times that call for a good show of emotion, so don’t deprive yourself of that.

Do realize that latching on to the negativity associated with it can be toxic.  Feel, express, then move on to a healthier outcome and place.

Know the difference between patience and indecisiveness

The art of patience involves controling your emotions and making productive decisions, not being passive via avoidance or inactivity.

There’s a significant difference between the two.  Decisions (even the poor ones) allow for growth whereas being idle removes the greatest opportunity for you to get the most out of life.

Now, what is it in your life that you find it hard to have patience with?  Have you learned any methods of overcoming or accepting those unfavorable circumstances?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below and tell me what you think. 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca October 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’ve been said to have the patience of Job, going through a journey and ‘enduring’ pain most wouldn’t.

Clearly I agree with you to a point, with my going on 9 year journey of ‘patience’. That takes someone who believes in ‘waiting’ o being ‘at peace with timing and unfolding’ to a certain degree.

So to me, I’ve lived what you’re talking about.

At the same time…

My post this week is all about the power of ‘impatience’ and getting downright fucking pissed at the situation, and expressing that.

Interesting counter-point to yours.

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Jason Anthony October 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Nice – as I mentioned there are certain times where you’ve got to let it all out, and that is perfectly normal (and necessary). Moving past that, and what you do from that point is the big question though..

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Rana Shahbaz October 4, 2012 at 8:24 pm

There is no doubt that impatience lead to emotional turmoil and bad choices.

One of our teachers shared a story back in college and that really helped me to calm things down. It was all about to understand that every thing happens for good.

Summary of the story was that often students get’s really worried about passing the exam and could not concentrate on the studies properly.

Our teachers told us to remember the word “So what”

He told us that do your best and don’t worry about the rest.

Even though in worst case scenario if you will get fail it might get you another direction which may be the better career for you.

Understanding the “so what” concept in a positive way is really important.

If you do it positively it can really calm you down but if you take it other way around it can really hurt you.

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Jason Anthony October 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Most definitely. Our ability to shrug it off is very important, Rana. Its a great reminder that no matter what the circumstance we’re still left with the ability to make choices. Thanks for adding this, and sharing your story!

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Andy Wong October 25, 2013 at 1:02 pm

This information was precise and on target. Top valued gold nuggets which will definitely be applied positively to my busy work schedules and interractions with varied persons at meetings.

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