One of the things that comes to mind regarding patience is Benjamin Franklin. It was one of those defining moments for me in elementary school. I must have been having a Tasmanian episode when my teacher sat me down and said, "Holly, Benjamin Franklin, the genius who invented the lightbulb, had a saying that patience is a virtue. You can learn a lot from him."
At that early age, I had no idea what a virtue was, but I got the message. Now when I get revved up with excitement, anticipation or any other strong feelings inside, I remember the message from my first grade teacher. I take a breath and move the whistling teapot off the hot burner.
The virtue of patience can have a powerful impact on our lives. Patience can help us to pause and reflect more deeply on life, taking the time to savor experiences and grow from them. When we take the time to wait and be patient, we can expand our experience and open ourselves up to greater growth.
Our instinct is to WANT IT NOW. GETTING IT NOW can be just fine. But like a fine wine, if we let the intensity of that wanting calm, it make for an even deeper experience. Our society values speed and efficiency over taking time to really enjoy life’s moments. We have become accustomed to instant gratification and are often in a rush to move on to the next task. However, when we take the time to be patient, we can savor the moments in life that truly matter.
I encourage you to take a wait and see approach the next time your wanting grows. Choose to wait a bit before taking an action. I have found that often times a wide space opens within me that is enjoyable beyond the satisfaction of getting.
Patience also allows us to reflect on our experiences more deeply. We can take the time to really think about the lessons we’ve learned, the mistakes we’ve made, and how we can apply those lessons in the future. When we pause and reflect, we can gain a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Taking this time will build mental muscle memory and in time the intensity of wanting may lesson to a more enjoyable emotion.
Patience can also help us to stay focused on our goals. It’s easy to get distracted by the immediate and urgent tasks that come our way, but when we take the time to be patient, we can stay focused on the long-term goal. When we take the time to stay patient, we can make sure that our efforts are truly paying off and that we are making progress towards our desired outcome.
I challenge you to have at least one goal written down for the next year. It can be small or big. The power of writing it down and expecting it to come true can create more patience around wanting other things that might look shiny and exciting. Create that space inside by waiting.
Finally, patience can help us to become more resilient. In a world where obstacles and setbacks are inevitable, patience can help us to stay focused on the bigger picture and keep going. We can take the time to be patient and understand that setbacks are part of life, and that eventually we will reach our goals. Also, keeping that eye on the prize will help us solve issues that arise because we will have more calm space inside.
Overall, patience is an important virtue that can help us expand our experience and open ourselves up to greater growth. When we take the time to be patient and savor life’s moments, we can reflect deeply and stay focused on our goals. Patience can also help us to become more resilient in the face of obstacles and setbacks. By taking the time to be patient, we can open ourselves up to greater growth and fulfillment in life. Perhaps trying these two tips will help as well. Take a wait see the next time you feel driven to do and make sure to write down at least one goal for the year. Thank you to Ben and my first grade teacher for showing me that the virtue of patience is like letting a fine wine breathe, allowing me to savor the full complexity of its flavor and appreciate the best it has to offer.