Posted in Inspiration, Learning, Life, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Is Patience Becoming A Lost Art? How You Can Improve Your Ability To Be More Patient

Photo by Anthony Ginsbrook on Unsplash

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.”

Margaret Atwood, The Penelopiad

Patience: quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience or the ability to keep calm in the face of disappointment, distress or suffering, 

A excellent ability, patience. Do you spend time with someone who has forgotten the concept? Doesn’t it irritate you when they are always displaying their quick flair of anger at the tiniest thing? The computer file does not load fast enough, traffic is slow, they have to wait in line, or when someone places them on hold while on the telephone.

I wonder if they realize the effect they may have on someone who is a witness to their behavior. When I see someone’s lack of patience, I find it irritating and sometimes depressing.

I would prefer to spend time with that patient beagle in the picture above then a person who continually displays a lack of patience.

There was an article I read recently that referenced a woman who was always cheerful and polite at her customer service position. She received an offer for a job at a firm that was her dream position because of her positive attitude, which included a large dose of patience. Do you think she would have been offered that same position if she displayed impatience with her customers every day?

Most of us occasionally have a bad day when we lose our patience, but then we bounce right back. It is concerns me that I see more people displaying impatience and poor behavior like it is reasonable and acceptable.

We can learn to control impatience by determining what triggers that response. Is it standing in line? Is it a traffic detour or construction zone with a flagman that infuriates you?

When that happens, start by taking a deep breath and thinking about what is making you impatient. It may be inconvenient, or you visualize it that way, but is it really? Is it a five-minute delay? In the context of your day is that a big deal? No, it is not.

My husband and I go almost everywhere together. I am his driver because his health requires it. I take him somewhere like the post office, or a book sale, he goes inside, and I wait. God bless him, he is a talker, and what should be a short stop may often turn into a longer time. I understand his need to have personal contact, and it is beneficial for him, but when I sit and think about what I want to do for the day I could be irritated, but I have chosen not to be. I always have a notebook with me, and I use that time to make a grocery list or reorganize my appointment list, jot down ideas for writing, etc. I will listen to music, or I will take a book to read.

It should be easy to find a simple solution to what may be a problem for many. There is always a way to fill the few minutes you have to wait. Listen to music, think about what movie you want to watch, or what you are going to do on the weekend. Easy Peasy.

Another enlightening practice might be to view the situation and take a step back; have you done the same thing yourself? The answer may be yes. In this busy world we live in, it appears that we all want to be first at some point or another. Use that reflection to learn and grow. Hopefully, it will help you stop the next time, and react more positively.

Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to stay in the moment, the here and now, without any judgment. When we make mindfulness a daily habit, the tendency we have to put ourselves first, and to become impatient when we have to wait, should become a non-event. We have better awareness and control of our emotions, and we respond better to adverse events, such as having to wait in a long line, etc.

“Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.” 

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

Modify your time schedules. I know someone who is always late; you can bet money on it. If you have that tendency, and you are easily irritated when something happens to hold you up, you need to make some changes. Why add stress to your life by trying to do too much, or not being realistic about the time required.

Make a schedule for each day and be realistic about your goals for the day. Rearrange your schedule, delete what is not necessary, or move something to another day. No one knows you like you do. No one can make you move faster, plan better, or be more realistic. All those things only you can control.

As we look at the world today, it is apparent that we all need to practice patience. We need to slow down, take a deep breath, smile, relax, and wait. Live in the moment always.

Patience is not the ability to wait. Patience is to be calm no matter what happens, constantly take action to turn it to positive growth opportunities, and have faith to believe that it will all work out in the end while you are waiting.”

Roy T. Bennett,

As always, thank you for reading my blog. Practice Patience today.

Posted in Motivation, Personal Development, Positive Thinking, Self Improvement

Compassion

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” The Dalai Lama

What is compassion ?

 The definition of compassion according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is

“The sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it”.

Many people confuse compassion with empathy.  Compassion has the added element of having a desire to alleviate or reduce the suffering of another.  From <https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/200804/what-is-compassion-and-how-can-it-improve-my-life

Empathy is “The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.”  Definition from the Oxford Dictionary. It does not include the desire to alleviate distress; to take steps to help the person in distress.

So are you compassionate ?  Before writing this if someone had asked me if I were compassionate I would have said yes.  After reading and researching I am not sure I truly am.  I think I have empathy and I do think I am compassionate but not as much as I could, or should, be.  Compassion indicates that you have to have the desire to alleviate another person’s distress.  I may have the desire but what does it take to really follow through and act on that desire.  I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I think most people are similar to me.   We have empathy,  but we do not practice true compassion.

Thankfully I know there are many truly compassionate people and they are indeed special.

When you watch the nightly news or information on the internet, the feed on face book, what is your reaction ? I quite often cringe at people’s cruelty and the pain that people are going through.  I make the right sounds of anguish, say the right things but do I actually do anything.  I might make a contribution when I am able but do I actually take what would be considered true action ? No.  I think most people would also say no.

I also understand that to be compassionate it does not have to be a grand gesture or action.  Most of us do not have the ability to do so.  We do not have the financial means or the ability to go to a disaster area to help. 

How do we practice being compassionate ? How can we be compassionate toward others ?

I think we have to be open minded and try to understand what other people are going through on a day to day basis.  We do not know what their life is like or what their day has been like.  So do not be judgmental or too quick to jump to a conclusion.  The best and easiest way to be compassionate is to smile.  I love it when someone smiles at me.  How can you not smile back ?  So smile often, at many people, every chance you get.

“Compassion, tenderness, patience, responsibility, kindness, and honesty are actions that elicit similar responses from others.”  — Jane Smiley, Harper’s, June 2000

I believe that each aspect of the above quote are all part of compassion; have patience, show tenderness and kindness and be honest.

To show, or practice, compassion we need to not only be aware of others but ourselves as well.  If we are having a bad day, if we are over tired or stressed, then it will be difficult to be open and aware of other people and their problems. So be kind to yourself first and you will be better equipped to be kind to someone else.

Ironically, we tend to not always be aware of those we are closest to, in particular our families.  How easy is it to take them for granted or to be easily critical.  They love us right so they will understand. No, that is just wrong, but I know I do it.  I hope I am wrong but I think most people do it too.

So become aware of the interactions with your family and your friends and treat them with compassion.  Be Kind to them and also to your self and then do the same to everyone else as well.

A smile or kind gesture done each day should be a habit we each maintain.  It should be easy right ?  It should also be honest and sincere.  If you ask someone how they are and if there is anything you can do to help, mean it.  Don’t just ask the question and then not follow through.  If you know you can’t, or won’t, follow through then don’t offer the help.  A kind word and a smile will always be beneficial.

Can you imagine how much better the world would be if we were all more open minded and aware and that we all showed compassion toward each other ?

“There is a nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy and a grace in forgiveness.”  Unknown