We live in a day and age where everything is done in an accelerated speed. Our mobile phones keep upgrading to excel in the speed of usage, service providers strive to achieve speed in data and downloading. Our young children no longer have the patience to wait for things. Everything needs to be done quickly or they fast lose interest.
Our careers make us run through a rat race, out on the roads vehicles get caught for speeding, people are always in a hurry to reach their destinations, people no longer seem to have the capacity to slow down and smell the roses.
In this type of environment, practicing patience is a foreign concept to many. So caught up are we in achieving our dreams and goals, or in getting things done that we often forfeit all chances of actually rebelling in our success or living in the moment.
Our days are so full of activities and distractions no one is focusing on enjoying life. How sad it is to know that we work so hard to get to a certain place in life yet we don’t have the capacity to appreciate how far we have come and take a moment to reflect on where we want to go or what we want to do.
The average life expectancy in 2016 was 72 years according to the world health organization. The retirement age ranges from 50 to 55 years which gives us a total of about 30 prime years in our life to get things sorted, get to where we need to get and plan for retirement. But what we neglect to realize is that what we do with our body during this time greatly impacts the outcome of our health and stamina once we reach our older years. So everything we do, what we let affect us, our moods and our food intake, it all will determine the future for us. So this is where having patience comes into play to ensure a healthy life as we progress in years.
Patience comes in different forms for each of us. It could be the results of treatment for a cancer patient. Or weight loss for someone on a diet. It could be to keep calm during a traffic jam or to keep your emotions in check for someone waiting for food at a restaurant.
We can segregate patience into three categories to help us achieve the desired level and outcomes.
We keep pushing our bodies to do more and more and sometimes go overboard with it, for example, we work late hours and forfeit meals in order to keep our momentum in the office often neglecting sleep and eating rituals.
We push our limits but starving ourselves in order to get sick results on diets, I have even exercised excessively in order to get to a desired number on the scale.
We indulge in damaging foods such as fast food and sodas for a quick fix on a meal.
We get exasperated with ourselves when we can’t finish tasks on time, sometimes giving ourselves or being given ridiculous timelines. We take extra doses of medication when we are sick to get better fast.
Some sportsmen indulge in steroids to accelerate their speed and increase stamina.
At home, we opt for microwave meals instead of home-cooked ones for convenience. Expect our children to eat fast and get to bed early to give us some quiet time. All of these are unhealthy practices, the repercussions of which we will face later on in life.
We lose out on family time and interactions through our late working hours. We get frustrated with our family and loved ones and are easily irritated when we lack sleep consistently. Our health deteriorates due to unhealthy eating habits and overdosing on medication, or taking supplement tablets to boost stamina. We hack our bodies by working out too much with less nutrition in our bodies.
We lose out on our relationships with our family and friends by losing time with them.
Hence we need to inculcate patience in ourselves firstly for ourselves. We need to make time for sleep and be patient with our bodies when we are on a diet. There are many ways to lose weight quickly but the disadvantage is that you will gain it all and more back even faster. The healthy way to lose weight permanently is a slow loss over a long period of time.
Be patient with yourself in your health. Let sicknesses run its course. There’s a reason why your body falls sick. Sometimes it’s a time out for yourself to slow down and restart your body in order to have new and more energy. By accelerating it you don’t give your body time to go through this process of exhaustion and healing. Then instead of rejuvenating you keep running at the same pace until something worse and irreversible might happen.
Be patient in your cooking habits. Take the time to prepare healthy meals for yourself and your family and give time to interact and socialize and build relationships. Patience is linked to happiness. So lack of patience will result in your living an unhappy life.
Think about being stuck in traffic or behind a slow driver or a car that broke down. Think about the emotions that run through yourself during that time. Are you one of those people who go ballistic that results in road rage? Do you honk your horn loudly and relentlessly while indulging in a series of cuss words?
How about at a restaurant where it’s crowded and the waiter delays in bringing your order? Do you tend to make a scene and rattle off insults and demeaning comments at him? Or do you complain to the management knowing well that it might be a risk for his employment?
How about when you come home after a particularly stressful day at work and your young child comes to you to tell you a long and frustrating story in his or her own pace and language. Do you dismiss them saying you don’t have the time?
Do you know what happens to your body when you constantly keep getting angry?
You damage relationships, run a risk of high pressure and leave many with negative thoughts towards you. The recipients of your frustration outlets, in turn, would go and take their own frustration out on their loved ones and it becomes a vicious cycle that escalates.
Practicing patience with others will help you keep healthy relationships, and in turn, help them to maintain healthy relationships with their loved ones and help the world in general turn into a better place. The law of the universe is that you get what you give. So by being patient you help bring positivity into the environment in a subtle way even if you can’t see it.
So enjoy some music in traffic, thank the waiter for his service instead of chastising him over something he may not even have control over and invest time in your children because they need you and you impact how they develop and what they grow up to be as well.
Some people change companies merely to advance in their careers, spending only short periods of time in each resulting in no proper experience in the job so they are never properly equipped to take on higher roles, and they fail at one point.
Some people rush relationships and get married, only to find they aren’t compatible and it ends in divorce.
Some rush to build houses and buy vehicles through loans on loans and end up with a mountain load of debt that takes a lifetime to wipe out.
Patience takes you through a required process that gives you stability and happiness in life. Career, relationships, assets, and whatever life brings to us, need to go through its respective process in order to deliver a sustainable outcome
Learn to invest in experiences in your area of expertise at work. Before climbing the corporate ladder, take on challenges in a controlled and safe environment where you can afford to make mistakes so you learn from them. Have a career plan but don’t make it something that happens overnight because you definitely will not be able to take on bigger roles without first having some practical experiences in the field and learning through them.
Take time to study your field and become an expert theoretically as well. Then set goals and KPIs to get you to a place where you are equipped to handle the position. One of my previous bosses told me a very important thing. She said to always work as though you are in the position that is above your current one. That is the only way you will be able to handle the job role once you get there.
When it comes to relationships, in a world where the divorce rate is on the rise, patience is definitely the key to long term commitments. You need to first learn about each other, see if you are compatible, you have to wait till the excitement has mellowed and you settle into the comfort of each other. Then and only then will you be able to gauge if you can actually live with each other long term.
Rushing into marriage, in any case, is a serious mistake. Once you bring children into the equation it becomes very difficult and messy to manage the divorce and it always ends up affecting the children as well.
Take all the time in the world to first get to know who you are marrying. You have the rest of your lives to live together anyway so why rush it? Have patience.
When it comes to taking loans on interest from banks, always know that the long term benefit is for the bank and you will lose out. Why do you need to end up paying huge interest costs and fall into debt when you have the option of first at least saving up for a down payment and then choosing a wise financial option that will suit your needs and not put you in financial difficulty?
Some people end up losing their houses and vehicles as the debt mounts and repayment becomes a difficult task. Practice patience and first plan for what you want, spend time collecting and saving up for it and once you’re sure you are in a stable place to go for the purchase, then take the plunge. This way you will also have peace of mind.
All in all, practicing patience in all aspects of your life is vital to your happiness. Patience is also linked to hope and a healthy mental state of mind. Live your life the right way.