Motivation Monday: Patience is a Virtue

 In Motivation Monday

Success happens when you make it happen. When you put in the hard work, time and time again, you will achieve success. But that’s not all. Hard work must be coupled with patience, because there is no such thing as “an overnight success.” When patience meets hard work, you acquire a grit that keeps you working steadily toward your goals.

But, we live in a society of instant, quick-fixes, short-cuts, and life hacks. In a convenience-inundated environment, our ability to exercise patience is waning. We want things now, and when we don’t get it now, we get frustrated, and frustration drives unhelpful behaviors, like quitting. Without patience we are less likely to effectively relate to others, navigate the curveballs that life inevitably throws, and importantly, achieve our goals.

So, while others focus on hacking their way through life and taking short cuts, make patience – the only real reliable path to success – your secret weapon.  Here are a few tips for practicing patience in your life:

Pause. Developing patience is much like physical exercise. You have to put in the effort and be persistent in your practice. One way to practice patience is in your conversations with others. When speaking with someone, listen as they talk, let them finish, and THEN PAUSE for 2-3 seconds before responding. Or, if you are in a long line at the grocery store, use it as an opportunity to just breathe and people-watch (don’t bury your nose in your phone).

Delay Gratification. Impatience is simply being unable to delay gratification. It’s a primitive behavioral response that we can overcome, but we do need to get in the habit of delaying gratification. So instead of reaching for dessert because everyone else is, don’t. Instead of buying that new gadget because it looks cool, don’t. Ask yourself, do I really NEED it or do I just WANT it RIGHT NOW?

Set Expectations. Take Action. Evaluate Your Progress. In that order. Do not take action before setting clear expectations. Do not constantly self-evaluate yourself while you should be focusing on taking action. And do not feel so rushed to take action that you aren’t taking time to evaluate your progress. Be aware of the phase you are in and be in that phase.

Get realistic. Getting impatient won’t move things along faster, so why get worked up? And why are you in such a hurry anyways? And what’s wrong with a little discomfort? Being “comfortable” shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. Has anything ever great happened in the comfort zone?

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