It seems like yesterday that written communication was sent by mail; food was reheated on a stove; and you traveled all the way to a store to buy merchandise. Now, if you’re like most people, you get frustrated when email takes a moment to appear in your inbox; the microwave takes a few seconds to beep; or a website requires a second click to complete your online purchase. Patience, what’s that?
With time at a premium, it seems like patience is out with the horse and buggy. For example, people change car lanes to save a minute, eat energy bars to avoid preparing meals, and switch websites because it takes an additional second to load. Sound familiar?
Things Take Time to Hatch
If a recipe says something should be cooked for 34 minutes, you can’t take it out of the oven in 25. The same remains true in other areas of your life. Things require patience. Here are 15 situations in which patience is ill-treated:
Deadlines. Some people scream URGENT even when it’s not required. Then, when an emergency actually arises, their plea for help falls on deaf ears. Do you cry wolf?
Trust. Some folks force a relationship rather than taking the time to establish trust. Consistent and predictable behavior breeds trust. That requires time.
Solutions. Some people seek a quick-fix solution rather than address a problem’s root cause. While it may feel comforting to “do something,” it’s fruitless if the underlying issue isn’t addressed.
Brainstorming. Some folks stop brainstorming when someone provides the first satisfactory response. The problem is, you’ll never know if you arrived at the best answer if you cut the process short.
Risk. Some people swing for the fence rather than opt for the slow and steady path to success. They focus so much on striking it rich that they ignore the possible consequences of going for broke.
Self-reliance. Some folks create dependency rather than making people self-sufficient. As the proverb says, “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Business relationships. Some people try to gain the upper hand rather than forging win-win relationships. Partnerships succeed when both organizations work for the common good rather than trying to outmaneuver each other.
Management. Some managers order employees around rather than securing buy-in and commitment. Superior results are achieved when people are involved and committed.
Speed. Some folks sacrifice quality for speed. Crossing things off your list may be satisfying, but redoing activities takes time, too. Do it right the first time.
Communication. Some people talk before thinking. Doug Larson, columnist and editor, said, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.”
Problem solving. Some folks would rather throw money at a problem than come up with an effective solution.
Success. Some people cut corners rather than prospering through hard work, commitment, and sacrifice. The fact is, there are simply no shortcuts in the long run.
Career. Some folks are so impatient, they’re unwilling to start at the bottom. If you want to climb the corporate ladder, you must pay your dues.
Planning. Some people can’t be bothered with planning. They want action! Their motto is “Ready, fire, aim.”
Conscience. Some folks are like bulldozers — they’ll do anything to get ahead. Follow your conscience. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life.
The Power of Patience
In most cases, people are impatient because they think it’s in their best interest and will get them to their goal faster. The truth is quite to the contrary. While you may think impatient behavior is moving you forward, it may actually be holding you back.
Patience is like a muscle — the more you exercise it, the greater it becomes.
Be patient. Take a moment to think. Gain some perspective. Plan before you proceed. And only then, move forward with resolve. You’ll find these things work wonders for you. Patience will enhance your relationships, increase your productivity, and improve your mental health. I know it’s not easy. But some of the hardest things in life are also the most worthwhile. As Saadi Shirazi, a Persian poet, said, “Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy.”
Are You Running Out of Patience?
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