“Impatience is an argument with reality.”
Image from Unsplash by Erik Wits
A few weeks ago, Wendy and I were scheduled to attend a sweetheart dance beginning at 5:30 PM. As the clock approached our time to leave for this event, the skies opened up with a torrent of rain. I pride myself on being on time or early, so I forged out the door — umbrella in hand — to fulfill our commitment.
Needless to say, my impatience soaked me anyway, especially my feet which provided a sock-squishing reminder throughout the dance. To my surprise and dismay, the rain stopped completely the moment we arrived!
When do you find yourself arguing with reality?
Where has the lack of patience caused you more trouble than a pair of soggy socks?
Where would a good dose of equanimity serve you best?
“I am, as all mortals are, unable to be patient.”
—Pablo Neruda, 20th Century Chilean Nobel Prize Poet
Image from Unsplash by Julien L
My grandson Weston loves to watch TV, especially when he is learning something new. The options for both learning and entertainment these days seem limitless. I find his ability to keep a laser focus on most occasions remarkable.
Many of his favorite programs are found on YouTube, which inserts ads if you are not a premium customer. Upon seeing these ads, he promptly says “Skip It,” not wanting to wait even the 5 seconds to hit the link for the show to resume.
Where in your personal and professional worlds do you find yourself edgy and impatient with the pace of things? How do you behave when you desire to get back to the good stuff of what you consider important and urgent?
What are the payoffs and benefits of your impatience?
Where is there a cost or some considerable downside to skipping things that are truly important in your life?
“Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year.”
Image from Unsplash by Christopher Lemercier
Winters in Michigan can be pretty cold and overcast. Not much is blooming these days, and it felt like we missed spring and summer altogether in 2020.
How has the past year treated you?
Where did things continue to bloom, and where did your world seem cloud-covered and cold?
Just as the earth continues to circle the sun, we must accept the seasons of life as they come, and do what we can to keep the seeds of the coming season ready for planting.
Where is greater patience with yourself and world most needed?
What steps can you take today to prepare for the flowers and fruits of the future?
“You can only untie one knot at a time.”
Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne
Each morning I lace up my New Balance sneakers to take my 45-minute walk. Since the beginning of the pandemic, walking has become my go-to form of exercise, and a key for me to reduce stress and maintain my sanity.
The act of tying my shoes to the proper tightness occurs habitually. Moments later I’m off into the great outdoors with arms and legs in unison. Taking in the sights and sounds, practicing gratitude and greeting my fellow walkers are bonuses.
When I untie my shoes upon my return, it is pretty common to experience a knot in one or both laces. Although I experience some frustration due to the delay, I am also thankful for my opposable thumbs and the level of dexterity needed to release the knots.
Where are you currently experiencing a few knotty areas in your life?
How can you more patiently untie them, one at a time, as you navigate your day?
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don’t worry, and be sure to smell the flowers along the way.”
—Walter Hagen, 20th Century American professional golfer
Image from thememorialtournament.com
Walter Hagen was considered by many to be golf’s greatest showman. People referred to him as a flamboyant, princely, romantic fellow who captivated fellow players and the public with sheer panache.
He was the most colorful golfer of his time, but Sir Walter also had the game to back it up. He won 11 major titles and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame for many other achievements.
His coaching in today’s quote is good council for golf as well as life. Patience, a positive attitude, and enjoying every moment as we travel the fairways of life can lead us all to greater success and happiness.
Where in your personal or professional life would a don’t hurry, don’t worry approach serve you best?
Taking note of the flowers you see and smell along the way will be a wonderful bonus.
“Do not plan for ventures before finishing what is at hand.”
—Euripides, Ancient Greek Tragedian
Where are you getting ahead of yourself these days? Where might your impatience, a shiny object or the next interesting diversion cause you to take your eyes off the people, projects, or other priorities of the moment?
There is a wise saying that goes: “If you try to chase two rabbits, both will get away.” How many rabbits are you chasing in your professional and personal worlds? How many new ones come into view on what seems like a daily basis?
Where would taking the “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” approach help you tackle a significant priority before you venture forth toward other matters?
FRIDAY REVIEW: PATIENCE
How would you rate your level of patience on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest? Here are a few patience-related posts you may have missed. Click the link to read the full message.
“Patience is the Companion of Wisdom.”
“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”
“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”
—David G. Allen, Author of Getting Things Done
In my very early years as a coach, I learned a variety of reasons why people get upset, such as unfulfilled expectations, and thwarted intentions.
Given the realization that many things can and do happen in different orders, or at different times, Allen coaches us to exercise greater patience, resulting in fewer upsets in our days.
How and in what ways can greater patience and acceptance of life’s upsetting moments bring greater peace of mind and calmness to your world?
“Good ideas are not adopted automatically. They must be driven into practice with courageous patience.”
—Hyman Rickover, 20th Century U.S. Navy Admiral
How many good or even great ideas ever see the light of day and come to fruition? If you have ever participated in goal setting or strategic planning sessions, you clearly know the percentages are fairly low.
Consider the field of venture capital, and all those many start-up and Silicon Valley hopefuls. Even the popular Shark Tank TV show has a pretty modest scoreboard on which hopefuls hit it out of the park.
Perhaps it is due to a lack of courage and/or patience that many good ideas never come to pass.
Where would mobilizing your own courageous patience be the key to the adoption of more of your brightest ideas? How would greater courageous patience also be a key ingredient to a happier and more fulfilling life?