When it comes to my work as a trainer and as a life coach, I have the patience of Job. I can go over the same topic again and again and again until a student or client gets it. I can wait until they experience that magical ‘Aha!’ moment when it all comes together. Personally, however, I am as impatient as they come. I don’t want to wait. Ever. For example, when the traffic light turns green, I blast through it leaving the other cars in the dust. Waiting is not my forte.
Yet, I pay a high price for my impatience. I pay that price in the currency of frustration and mistakes made out of haste. I wish I could apply the patience I show professionally, and even personally with others, to myself. When it comes to patience I am definitely a work in progress.
When I am tempted to react impatiently, I try to take a breath and think about all of the times that waiting has paid off. I think about the times I ended up with something better than what I wanted. After my car broke down, I spent a year in a half in a 20-year old car with no air conditioning and no radio. I was miserable in the summer months! I wanted a new car! Yet, after 18-months, I ended up not with the car I wanted but the car that was one grade up from that. Waiting paid off.
I also think about all the times I ended up grateful that I didn’t get what I wanted at the time or when I got what I wanted and would have been better off waiting. I remember jumping into a relationship because I felt I was ready for one. So I jumped into one with the wrong person. Clearly, I’d have been better off if I had wanted and not jumped at the first guy that came along.
I also realize that if I have time to be impatient, I’m probably not focusing on the right thing. Usually, there are some things I can be doing to improve myself, my situation or my outcome. Impatience in those cases is a sign that my focus is off.
Time spent in impatience is time wasted.