Power Up Your Patience Button

Patience. Inspirational quote typed on an old typewriter.
While dining in a local restaurant, I could not help but notice the scene created by the couple at the next table. The man was clearly intrigued with the digital menu the waiter presented him. After the couple ordered, he very patiently looked for the off button. The female diner, apparently well versed in the operation of this piece of technology, began rapidly issuing instructions and nearly leapt over the table to snatch it away and power it down. Our hero just smiled passively, ignored her and eventually found the off switch in his own sweet time. Two facts became evident. The first, he wanted to teach himself how to operate this new way of ordering dinner. Number two, his female companion had zero patience for his learning curve.

We’ve all been there… guilty of losing our patience over trivial matters, asserting our commands and vying for control. Patience is a skill. Conversely, impatience is an uncontrolled reaction that leads to frustration causing undue stress. The female companion in my story was visibly irritated. She might have saved herself some aggravation if she just sat back, enjoyed her drink and the ambiance of the establishment letting the gentleman complete the task on his own.

Stress is a reaction to events that upset your balance in life. We cannot escape stress. Sometimes it attacks us from all angles. It’s that out-of-control feeling experienced as you rush your child to the emergency room with a broken arm from falling off the jungle gym, or the boss announces the company is downsizing and your job is impacted, or your sister is diagnosed with breast cancer. These situations occur every day in real life. None of us exit this planet without experiencing our share of unplanned, unwanted stress related incidents.

What about the other type of stress, the self-imposed kind. The woman in the restaurant generated a stressful scene. I was nervous just watching her. She allowed her “Type A” personality to create an out-of-control reaction hell bent to overpower her dinner companion.

In her book, The Power of Patience, best-selling author MJ Ryan advises that our lady diner has company. Many individuals believe they “corner the market on the right way to be, and the rest of the world is wrong for not marching to the tune.” Ryan goes on to say there is a time to wait, and a time to act. I could not agree with her more.

There is an instant remedy to self-imposed stress. It’s called patience. Most of us are a work-in-progress when it comes to cultivating a calm and patient demeanor. What happens when someone hits our hot button? Just ask me, I know. I’m insanely punctual.
Business woman holding a clock
I once almost walked out on an appointment with my hair stylist because he was running late. Instead of using the down time to do some pleasure reading, I sat with smoke figuratively billowing out my ears. Giving into stress of our own making causes our muscles to tighten. Obsessing over the situation negates the ability to relax. Often we get caught up in negative head chatter. All this unconstructive activity can be avoided if we just learn the art of practiced patience.

You can achieve a state of serenity by ceasing to demand perfection from the world. In the example of my stylist, I should have considered his tardiness unavoidable. Surely he did not purposely plan to foil my schedule, something happened in his world to detain him.

One definition of patience is: the power to accept or tolerate delay. Ever find yourself jumping lines in the grocery store trying to determine how to place your cart in the fast lane? Yep. Consider me guilty of that crime too. Conversely, long lines are a great place to practice patience. Bored people waiting

Gaining expertise at cultivating patience paves the way for dealing with the more important waits in your life. For example, in my career coaching practice, I advise clients unless the wolf is at the door; it is wise to wait for the RIGHT job offer. Compromising, by accepting a position unaligned with your goals, is futile. Dissatisfaction results and eventually the rigors of a second job search begins. Adopting the philosophy “it’s going to take as long as it takes” and practicing patience eliminates many hours spent dreading a job you dislike.

The same line of thinking applies to the hunt for a soul mate, or saving to purchase your dream home. Understand some life events don’t happen at warp speed just because we will it.

Today, tomorrow and forever, try practicing patience and take more time to savor the journey. Calculate the appropriate moments for action and identify those times when you should just chill and power up your patience button. By doing so, you will experience more joy and so will the world around you.

15 thoughts to “Power Up Your Patience Button”

  1. Very well said but try to implement this takes a lot of hard work . Sometimes I think it’s just my personally to be the way I am. I could tell you some real good stories of me being so darn impatient and now I look back and say I must of been crazy. Also as we get older I think be become smarter about this subject.
    Love your writings.Love Linda

  2. Thank you Sunny, this was the perfect message for me today. “I am becoming a more patient person daily” has been added to my list of affirmations.

  3. ‘Patience is a virtue’ as they say, and thankfully I have it. As you quite rightly point out, it is no use working yourself up over things that you cannot change. Stress can be a killer…I have seen it.

  4. Don’t we all need a little lesson in patience? Patience is a choice when faced with a situation that drives me crazy. Patience and impulsive behavior is related for me. If I can ‘catch’ myself just as I’m ready to reach out (for that digital menu), my awareness of practicing patience gets to my brain first. I hope it soon becomes natural behavior… Thanks Sunny.

  5. Once again you’ve hit the nail on the head! We always need to be reminded of what is important enough to warrant impatience — especially the self-inflicted kind!

  6. Hey Sunny,

    I can certainly identify impatience in some aspects of my life and then others I have the will to take it one step at a time. I too have been guilty of walking out of scheduled appointments because people have kept me waiting. And I would not have minded but customers service is what its about. If some one is selling a service and they want you payment then at least show some curtesy and come and excuse yourself.

    When I am tired I am a little more impatient, but we are human. As for writing blog posts and traffic I am very patient but determined. Sometimes it matters and sometimes you know it just cant. Thanks for the post.


    1. Thanks for you comments Rachel. I agree, being tired does diminish the patience level. I try to bite my tough more when I’m tired knowing the impatient me might surface if I respond to certain situations.

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