“patience is a virtue, possess it if you can.” These are the words my mother continuously said to my brother and I, and she wasn’t wrong. Patience is one of the most powerful lessons we can keep in our tool kit – especially when it comes to fitness; but that doesn’t make our goals any easier to swallow.
As an athlete, I was always on the go. School to practice, back to school again, meals and so on. When you are constantly moving, constantly doing something, the waiting gets lost, and so does the patience. Then come the lulls, maybe it’s one day – maybe two. Suddenly you feel a weight on your shoulders. For adults this feeling can be best described as the – “I am short on rent, I haven’t gotten my paycheck yet, and it’s the first of the month” feeling. And I know as well as you do, this feeling is petrifying. “What can I do next?” enters your mind and from there… things get complicated.
Now, I get it, last week we talked about “Getting your Baaaaahk into it: How Goat Yoga could help you save on Long term Healthcare Costs”. In that blog, I mentioned that it would be part one of four regarding our end of summer bucket list. For a lot of us, however, we didn’t really have a summer, we’ve just been lucky enough to avoid the sweltering heat from our air-conditioned offices and cubicles. But just because we haven’t soaked up all the summer sun, doesn’t mean we don’t want to take a day for ourselves between now and Labor Day.
A day off you say??? NO. I have work. [wrong answer]
And here is where patience comes in.
As a virtue, patience is something that is learned- not born. I can teach you to be patient, but you can’t tell me you are born that way; and you certainly can’t tell me you have always been patient.
Being more Patient in 5 Steps:
Step one: Manage your time
Mistakes happen. Projects come in late. Teams don’t always pull through. But there is no use crying over spilled milk. The best way to stay patient, is to give yourself a buffer window of time. 5 or 10 minutes will make a world of difference when you have a deadline in an hour, so hunker down, trust the process and manage the time you do have rather getting caught up in the excuses of why or why not you are behind.
Step two: [I hate this Phrase but…] Breathe
Managing your breathing is just as important as managing your time. The more oxygen a body gets, the more that body and mind can function the way they are supposed to. Don’t cut off the oxygen – you’ll get gassed, and nothing will get done.
Step three: getting frustrated is normal.
Guess what, you are normal, and yeah that stinks, but it is also a gift. You are allowed to get frustrated, we all do. But it isn’t Steve-From-Accounting’s fault that the excel sheet isn’t done [you told him he had a month when really he had four days] mistakes happen but keeping your cool and trusting your team gets better results than getting angry and saying things you don’t mean.
Step four: Take Breaks as needed.
No one is perfect, no one is 100% patient all the time – and not everyone is capable of trusting you or your team. Trust yourself. Know yourself. And repeat steps one through three for the best results during your much-needed break.
Step five: Control the controllable and manage the rest
Life isn’t meant to be easy. If it was, it wouldn’t be worth it. Being patient is all about setting limits and guidelines. Its about not taking on too much at one time and controlling the outcome.
Control the controllable means that you have worked to embody all five steps of the patient process. It means having the restraint to allow yourself to make mistakes and to fail from time to time. Its about giving yourself permission not to be perfect but patient instead and I can not tell you how important this is when it comes to living your longest and healthiest life.
Make a list and check it twice
When we think about the bottom line – adding patience to your end of summer wish list could keep you wishing (and living) longer because it changes your perspective of both yourself and those around you. Being patient is a virtue, but it’s also an incredibly hard gift to have.
So close your eyes, make a wish, and never stop wishing.