10 Ways To Be More Patient

A very smart guy in a toga a couple of thousand years ago said: “Patience is bitter, but the fruit is sweet”.

Here’s another gem: everything that’s worthwhile will take longer than expected and involve more energy than previously imagined.

I know this. Yet on a regular basis, I get impatient and snap. As I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to control it and contain in inwardly. Other times I explode and have a tantrum like a little kid. Just ask my wife.

With that being said, here are 10 ways that I try to (imperfectly) slow down and remain patient in my life:

1) Have a plan — when there is no well conceived plan to attain the results I want, it gets frustrating. It’s like driving across country without a road map. With frustration comes impatience.

2) Have faith in the plan — if I’m confident that I’m on the right track then I have faith that I will get there. It will take longer and require more effort. Faith — it’s a unique gift all humans share if we choose to.

3) Know what my triggers are — if certain people or events irritate me, then I need to be self-aware of them and plan my responses ahead of time. I’ll be more patient during our interaction. Also I….

4) Look for the one thing — I read somewhere “there is something better than me in every person I meet.” I look for the one thing. It makes everyone more special. It even works if I’m stuck somewhere I don’t like. Uncover that one thing that makes that place unique. Perhaps it’s a piece of history worth reading about.

5) Exercise — if I get impatient, I take a walk or a run. Get outside. Breathe some fresh air. It’s amazing what getting back to our primal, nomadic roots does for the brain. Resets everything.

6) Meditate — I don’t mean go all Buddha. I don’t get in the lotus position. I sit in a chair. Try downloading the Headspace App and do 10 minutes of guided meditation. It works. Trust me.

7) Remain positive — it’s just a better frame of mind to be in. Those who have a optimistic outlook on life, live longer, have better relationships, and enjoy the journey much more than those who are all doom and gloom. Positive people see the beauty in things because life is a miracle. With wonder comes acceptance and patience.

8) Be confident — when I’ve done my homework, taken all necessary considerations, then the best thing I can is to be confident in my choices and then surrender. Things will go sideways and that’s ok. Life is messy. And long hopefully. Be calm.

9) Be comfortable with the uncomfortable — life is painful. When I take on a new project, my brain sweats. The voices in my head typically chime in with words about failure, unworthiness and the like. But they’re just voices. I make them up and then believe them. Crazy. I try to take the pain as a sign that I’m growing and doing work that matters. There is purpose in pain. It’s gives me the reassurance to remain focused on the long game.

10) Let go of perfectionism — if I don’t then I will be anxious about the future and regretful about the past. I will suffer paralysis by analysis and not get anything done. Start something and accept that the results will be imperfect and that’s ok. As my friend George Shepherd says “Success is followed by imperfect action”. Brilliant!

In a nutshell, patience is how you act while waiting.

Plan on waiting a lot.

www.jamesashcroft.com

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