How many times do you hear people lament at the end of a day with “I really need a drink (or a break or a massage or ______ …fill in the blank)” ?
Our days are increasingly filled with hours of stop and go traffic, rush-rush-rush, hurry up and wait, dropped cellphone calls, disconnects and misconnects, voice mails, emails, texts, and interruptions – hardly what our founding fathers (and mothers) would have imagined.
Is there a key to putting aside the hustle-and-bustle so that we can enjoy moments of zen (happiness and peace) during the day?
I believe the answer lies in the “P” word – Patience – a word celebrated and recommended by formal religions, self-help gurus, and philosophers throughout the centuries. You might find it puzzling to know that past generations would be impatient (after all, life was so much slower in years gone by), but since the beginning of time, Patience has eluded us.
Life today is increasingly complex and runs at nanosecond speed, and impatience prevails. Its results are not pretty as it manifests into such negative outcomes as:
- road rage (impatience with other drivers),
- disgruntled employees (impatience with bosses),
- robberies (impatience with one’s finances),
- divorce (impatience with a partner),
- fights (impatience with another or a situation),
- restraining orders (impatient outbursts),
- among others.
Impatience can be an autonomous reaction (without pause or thought) to a trigger or situation.
Patience on the other hand is a deliberate response to the same situation. Patience calms the mind, quiets the soul, soothes frayed nerves, and allows us to focus on what we can control – such as our response.
Patience can be difficult (especially in stressful situations) – but can become natural through conscious practice. Patience is similar to remaining calm in the midst of a storm, and in today’s “stormy” world – we have more than enough opportunities to practice!
What do you think? Do you agree that the P word – patience – is an important survival tip?