Webster defines patience as bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint or being steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity. I believe this why patience is called a virtue. It is little practiced, but much needed. At the first sign of difficulty, many jump to an easier, smoother path, hoping to avoid the pain and suffering that is necessary on the road to personal growth. But it is only by taking this rough road do we gain the experience necessary to develop our character. Impatience robs us of these types of life experiences. How would your world be different if you practiced more patience?
Patience is the ability to hang on when everyone else has given up. Patience is the ability to release your need for immediate gratification and wait for things to come into their own time frame. Patience overcomes criticism and intolerance. Patience develops committed relationships in marriage, family, church, community, and career. Many great leaders have displayed patience by looking before they leaped, thinking before they acted, and considering before they decided. Patience is the mark of maturity. So now we know the virtues of patience, how do we develop more patience?
First, realize that no one is perfect, including yourself. Accept yourself and others, imperfections and all. Everyone is struggling with their own set of fears, weaknesses, obstacles, and crises. We are all on the road of personal growth together and can help each other by showing more patience and kindness to each other.
Second, develop a consistent philosophy of life-based upon a value system you believe in. Then when you are confronted with a situation, you can make your choice based upon the value system rather than an instant gratification response. With every choice is a consequence. Do you act now and settle? Or do you wait to get the result you truly desire?
Third, change your perspective on the past, present, and future. Stop dwelling on your mistakes and failures. They cannot be changed. Instead, focus and what you can do now to make a difference. Life is a blessing and each day should be lived as if it were your last. Start fresh every day and remember the future comes one day at a time. What can you do today to change the results you have in the future?
Fourth, confront your fears rather than avoid them. Do the thing you fear the most and the fear will go away. “That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but our ability to do it has increased.” By doing more, it becomes easier, and when it becomes easier it becomes fun rather than stressful.
Finally, realize that all things come to those who wait. The Universe, the infinite force that connects us all, will bring the people who can help, the answers you may need, the tools and resources you are looking for when you need them. You must have faith and be patient and believe in your goals, realizing that they will often not be accomplished according to your original plans. Circumstances change. People change. Things change. Let go of your anxiety, disbelief, and doubt about achieving your goal. Now that The Universe is constantly supporting you and will always help you achieve the things you desire. Just be patient!