The popular quote “patience is a virtue” was first used by William Langland in the 14th Century poem, “Piers Plowman.” This took me literally 10 seconds to find on Google.
I do agree that having patience is a virtue. I also think it’s a learned behavior. Through my personal journey, I’ve been able to figure out what can trigger my own impatience. By way of example, I’ve dated a few guys who fit into the category I call “me-me.” Their inability to talk about anything other than themselves caused me to be impatient, and ultimately to end the relationship. The good news is, I learned something about myself — that I’m impatient with bad listeners.
Sometimes we have underlying issues which can also manifest impatience about something entirely unrelated. Being stuck in traffic is only partially to blame. Maybe you’re also still thinking about that guilt-riddled phone conversation with your mother-in-law which caused you to leave the house 10 minutes later than you should have.
Triggers and underlying issues definitely impede the road to patience. It’s worth the trip, though, because of the rewards. For starters, once learned, patience will be a valuable coping skill in your life. It will propel all of your relationships in a positive direction.
Patience is the antidote to frustration. Imagine this: you’re in a long line to check out at Costco. No matter how many times you look at your watch, the line isn’t going to move any faster. So you remind yourself to practice patience. Instead of counting the rolls of paper towels being hoarded by others, you focus on how delicious that rotisserie chicken is going to taste in tomorrow’s enchiladas.
What have you achieved by choosing to be patient (besides deciding what’s for dinner tomorrow night)? You’ve discovered that patience is a very powerful attribute. By making the choice to wait, observe, think, and then decide, you are exercising that power.
To briefly summarize:
- Be aware of the triggers and underlying issues that can affect your patience.
- Remember that patience is a valuable coping skill.
- It’s the antidote to frustration.
- Patience = Power.
If you’d like to share your thoughts, I will patiently read them and respond.