Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it. Wait for it. Dr. Jaime, get to the point! That’s the point. Sometimes, getting to the point is not easy or quick. You have to have patience. Changing habits and going for long lost goals, takes time. Society has trained us to go-go and rush-rush, and when we take up a new activity or want to achieve a goal, if it takes “too long” we either give up or never start.
In my back yard we have large Egret birds that eat the small fish, snakes and lizards. Fish, snakes and lizards are relatively quick moving. They are quite the challenge to catch. How then does the Egret somehow always come out with a meal? He stalks his prey with patience. He focuses on the goal and won’t take his eye off of it until all it takes is one quick snatch and the meal is his. But, his meal doesn’t come to him in the time it would take you grab a protein bar and start munching. He waits for what he really wants. I have watched the Egret sit over the water for hours trying to catch a fish. I will leave and go do activities and come back and he is still in the same position, being patient. That takes skill.
The rush-rush mentality that we have ingrained in our minds works against us as we attempt to reach goals that take a long time to complete. Long time = Patience. Patience is a virtue. Virtue means asset, quality or benefit. That means patience is an asset. Patience is a quality. Patience is a benefit. When you have patience with your future self you will see more frequent and ongoing successes in the present.
When we want something, and want it quick, we often close our minds to additional paths, opportunities and activities that might get us to our destination because we want to do things one way to get to the end result quickest. However, an openness to experiences and opportunities is what will bring Life fulfillment. Opening your mind with patience allows you to engage in additional activities that might take longer in duration and effort, but will satisfy your future self and its desires. Engaging in activities for your future self, with patience in the present, makes both the present and future self more in harmony. When your mind and body are in balance, you will find more overall fulfillment. If you frequently give into your present self, you will journey down a path of instant gratification that wears off relatively quickly. As you work only with the present self, you will find a diminishing sense of confidence in your future self’s security. This imbalance between the present and future self impacts your perception of overall fulfillment. To get your mind and body to more of a homeostasis, grab onto some patience and engage in your true desires and activities that increase your mood and fulfillment despite how long it may take.
Here are a few quick tips on how you can teach yourself patience:
1. When you are interacting with a little child, don’t rush them. As they try to get out of the car, don’t say “let’s go, lets go.” When the child is walking up or down stairs, don’t say “Come on, come on.” Let them take their time. This will teach you to slow down.
When you are in traffic, understand that even if you get angry or huff puffy, you are not going to move faster. When you can’t control a situation, control yourself. This means controlling your mindset. Reflect on what you were grateful for that day, think about your future self, crank up the radio, enjoy the moment alone.
Get real. Stop over exaggerating. If you complain that your computer has been frozen “all morning,” then your patience will run out quickly. You are telling your mind that your computer has not worked “all morning.” “All morning” means, several hours. Your patience will go ballistic over that. But, if your computer went down three times this morning for one minute each time, then say that. Don’t over exaggerate allowing yourself to fly off the handle. What was the last situation you exaggerated about? How was this not beneficial to you? How did this hinder your ability to be patient? How did this hinder your ability to move forward?
Let it go. Anger and frustration about things and people take up so much of our energy that we can’t be patient. In order to be patient, it takes focus and energy. Patience is a habit that we have to learn and practice. That takes energy. But, so does anger. Let go of anger so that you free up energy to practice patience.
Reflect on all things that were major successes in your life. Getting a degree, landing a job, having a baby, marriage. These all took patience and a long time to accomplish. You had to take 124 credit hours before getting that Bachelor’s degree in Finance. You had to get a degree and obtain experience for three years before landing that dream job. You had to carry a baby in your body for nine months, before you got to hold him. You dated your spouse for four years, learned to compromise and make sacrifices, all before you got married. Not one of those major accomplishments happened immediately. They all took patience. You have the ability to be patient. The more major successes you can identify and reflect on in which you exhausted patience, the more accepting you will be of your next major feat that requires time and commitment. Good things, dream and goals take time and patience.
Reflection Check Point: Take a moment to reflect on areas of your Life that you are not patient. Which of the tips can you implement to help teach yourself more patience? Identify areas in your life in which you are not patient with yourself. How is this hurting the completion of your Circle and what you might not be putting in there? How could this ultimately hurt your future self?
Dr. Jaime Kulaga understands the complexities of women’s lives and helps to increase their self-awareness and self-esteem. She is the advocate of the under-appreciated, over-worked and un-fulfilled woman, dedicated to greatly improving and creating a gratifying, enjoyable life... rather than an unfulfilling existence. As the Author and Founder of the SuperWoman’s Guide to Fulfillment, Dr. Jaime has taught and worked with hundreds of women empowering them to discover their own greatness, and in turn, create a loving and gratifying environment for all those in their lives.
Through teaching at the University level, coaching and counseling individuals, couples, and businesses, she educates women, men and families to make better lifestyle decisions, steer the course of their lives, and use practical tools for deeper fulfillment and happiness.Dr. Jaime is a frequent mental health expert on TV and radio and has been featured on Forbes.com, on Maria Shriver's blog, and in Glamour, Self, and Prevention magazines for her expertise in work-life balance and life fulfillment.