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The Art of Waiting

BY STEPHANIE CORDER

For generations, we have all been told, “Patience is a virtue.” Now, however, this virtue is needed more than ever in our society. Especially with the onslaught of modern technology, slowing down and focusing seems impossible sometimes.

We want things and, we want them now. Why shop and cook a meal when we can just call someone to deliver us pizza? Why wait for meaningful, local support on our achievements when we can post them to social media and immediately get gratification? Why wait for real love to blossom when there are numerous other online ways to be romantically entertained?

The implications of the “I need it now” mentality are profound. In a national survey conducted by Great Clips, 76% of respondents think it’s unreasonable to wait in line for even 5-10 minutes in a retail store.

Impatience is linked to many negative issues including financial debt, addiction, and abuse. It is also linked to many negative emotions such as irritability, anger, and frustration. It fractures our relationships and gives us fear-driven results.

The solution to impatience is quite obvious: patience. It’s first important to understand it, though, before we begin to really practice it.

Patience is what allows us to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or difficult people, as well as helping us pay attention to something for a long time without becoming bored or losing interest. It provides time for improvement and respects the process. It teaches the value of delayed gratification, self-control, and the ability to reduce impulsive and acting out behaviors.

Now, how do we start to living out more patience?

The best way is actually to not think or talk about it too much. Instead, get out there and show it. If we are honest with ourselves, there are certain areas in our lives that could use more patience than others. Once we assess ourselves, little acts of improvement each day will exponentially grow our ability to wait on good things.

Three easy ways to get started in our areas of growth today:

  1. Delay our own gratification for the benefit of another person.
  2. Actively tell ourselves “no” in order to have self-control.
  3. Don’t say a word if someone or something gets under our skin so the good and proper action(s) can later ensue.

Another important factor to remember in this process is that we will probably fail at times. We just have to forgive ourselves, let go, and keep on persisting.

Something else that we have all heard for generations is, “Good things come to those who wait.” This still could not be any more relevant today. The benefits of waiting on good and meaningful results are truly endless.

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