The Hardest Virtue – Patience
By Daria Campbell
Put your hand up if you know you have the virtue of Patience down pat. I am so impressed if you put your hand up because this is not one of the areas where I excel. I have always been a “I want it right now!” type of Gal.
I cannot help but recall the Serenity Prayer. It specifically asks for help to know the difference between what is in your control and what is not. When you know what you cannot change, and are ok with it, you can be totally patient. I will be honest I am a control freak, but I have learned that I cannot change anyone but myself. There are many, many, many things out of my control so why am I going to make myself crazy?
Patience is probably one of the best virtues to actively try to improve. So how do you strengthen your patience quotient? In today’s fast-paced world of constant demands for immediate responses and instant gratification our patience can often be challenged. Improving is not as easy as it sounds! It will require effort and practice, as it is not an overnight transformation, but recognising that work needs to be done is admirable.
Can you think of ways you do not exhibit patience and are you thinking that you would like more? I don’t think you can ever have too much! So how do we build that skill?
Here are a few thoughts:
- Be Present. Live in the moment. Immerse yourself in what you are currently doing and strive to do it well. This can reduce anxiety, alleviate impatience and keep you from worrying about what might come next.
- Practice Gratitude and Acceptance. Focusing on all that you have right now and recognizing these blessings can bring a sense of contentment and peace. That way things can only get better when you appreciate what you already have.
- Practice Kindness and Tolerance. Embrace compassion and consideration, let people go ahead of you in line, through the door or in traffic. What is your rush? Being rude to people will not get you there any faster.
- Be Prepared. Recognise waiting is part of life and be prepared for it. I always have something to “do” in my purse, whether it is a game on my phone or a comic book, I am never bored if things are dragging. You know you might have to wait, why act surprised when you do? And most times when I am ready for a long wait it goes super-fast, which is always nice.
In conclusion, patience is a virtue that is worth having more of in your life. It will require effort and self-reflection, and it’s natural to experience moments of impatience… And just in case you are thinking “Ok, ok we get it” and want to stop reading right now, for the sake of your patience I will end here.