As the world anxiously awaits the arrival of April the giraffe’s baby, we are learning the lesson of patience. I stumbled on to the live feed several weeks ago, and I was amazed that I was among over 14 thousand people who were watching. I was drawn to this beautiful animal who was pacing in her pen. I, like the rest of the world, believed that the moment of the arrival of her 4th calf was imminent. Fast forward over a month, and she is still pregnant. I check the feed morning and evening. She continues to pace around her pen with her ever-growing belly, and the world still awaits the arrival of this already famous baby calf.
Have you ever waited, ever so patiently for something you wanted? Perhaps it was a new car, a new home, the arrival of your baby, an order from a new client, or maybe a long awaited vacation? Did the time seem to tick ever so slowly? Did you become frustrated? This week, I would like to talk to you about the art of practicing patience.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines patience as “the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient.” Hmm, not extremely helpful, huh? Dictionary.com states that patience is “the ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.” In this “I’ve gotta have it now world” we are living in, how do we practice patience?
It seems like we’ve become such an impatient society. When we order food, we want it immediately. When we order coffee at our favorite coffee shop, we want it without delay. We take photos on our camera and can see them instantly. Can you imagine how much more we would love our lives if we simply took things at a slower pace and enjoyed each moment as it happened?
I believe that anything worthwhile is worth the wait. As a little girl, my mom would look at me and say, “Patience is a virtue, Cindy.” I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but she was teaching me that it takes time and effort to achieve results. Just because I watch my diet for 24 hours doesn’t mean that my excess weight will be gone. Every time I step on the scale, I can hear my mother saying, “Patience is a virtue, Cindy” or her other famous quote, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, Cindy.”
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” Benjamin Franklin
So, how do we develop patience?
Make an effort to relax and enjoy your life, one day at a time. Choose the longest line at the grocery store and tell yourself that life isn’t going to stop if you wait an extra five minutes before paying for your groceries. Take a walk outside and make an effort to enjoy the beauty of nature. Watch a squirrel play in your yard or the birds at your bird feeder. Plant some flower seeds and watch as the plants emerge from the soil, each in their own time. I think we spend so much time in “fast forward” that we miss the beauty of the simple things around us.
Cook from Scratch
It takes time and patience to follow a recipe. It is way too easy to grab a frozen meal, stir in a few ingredients, and cook it for 5 minutes. That’s great on a night when your time is short. Create time in your schedule to find a recipe in your book, and follow it step by step. Measure the ingredients, chop the vegetables, grate the cheese, and immerse yourself in creating the masterpiece. You will invest time into making your creation, but you will also enjoy the art of preparation and the aroma while it’s cooking. Not only will you be able to relax, but you will also be healthier knowing what ingredients you’ve put into your recipe.
Read a Book
It takes patience to read a 350-page book. How tempted are you to flip to the last chapter to see what happens instead of reading and enjoying each page? Make time in your schedule to read every day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.
Create short-term and long-term goals and know what is expected to attain them. We become impatient when our task list is too long. Keep the task list short and concise, and anything that isn’t completed should be at the top of tomorrow’s list. Make a routine to create a sense of calm in your daily life. Prepare the night before and know what you need to do the following day.
Our impatience rises as our lives become filled with anxiety and stress. We can relieve our stress with regular exercise, and practice yoga or meditation. Finding a quiet space and relaxing for five minutes can go a long way to help us become for focused, less anxious and more patient with others.
“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” Napoleon Hill
My challenge to you this week is as follows:
Take a look at your life and determine what causes you to lose your patience. Is it not being able to get out of the door on time in the morning? Is traffic causing you to be late to your appointments? Do you find yourself stopping for take-out because there is no time to cook? When was the last time you participated in an exercise class?
I am guilty of all of these, so don’t feel alone. Preparing for your day the night before will help you start out with less stress. Time blocking your schedule will give you added minutes in your day. Giving yourself enough travel time will allow you to relax during your commute. Are you not exercising regularly? Find an accountability partner and encourage each other to improve your health.
We try to be everything to everyone. We often neglect ourselves to take care of others. This week, let’s work on practicing patience with others and ourselves. We can’t always be perfect. As I’ve heard over and over again, we need to realize that “good is good enough.”
Have a wonderful week!
I own a promotional products business where I offer over 1 million different products to meet your promotional needs. I also have a complete wedding line including “save the dates,” invitations, napkins, imprinted stemware, and attendants gifts. I’d love to schedule an appointment with you to see how I can help you with your promotional needs!
Pictures from freerangestock.com