“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time “ -Leo Tolstoy
Sometimes, don’t you just wish that you could go into a supermarket, skip the line and buy a big bag of patience? Today everything is fast and the demands add up quickly. You are supposed to respond to emails and texts right away, your business it supposed to skyrocket overnight and you are expected to find your love at first swipe. It can all feel a little frustrating when the realities don’t meet the expectations, so how do we learn to be patient?
I suppose it takes time. Patience certainly wins the most valuable virtue award as far as sentence use goes. We seek these virtues because we consider these qualities to lead us to a life well lived. But unlike the state of happiness that can be initiated immediately, the nature of patience requires us to postpone. It is our capacity to tolerate the momentary annoyances in exchange for a future time of less discomfort.
There seems to be this tussle between living in the moment and waiting for the right moment. On one side of things, we want to live as fully as we can right now. We need to go after things, and take advantage of the opportunities in front of us. On the other hand, we need to show a bit of poise in order to benefit from time’s surprises. We need to wait and we need to believe in the future.
Its as if we have banked a certain amount of pleasure into an unknown point of time ahead of us. We are able to trust that waiting will be more beneficial to our well-being than grabbing all of those candies right now. At some point we must have learned from our mistakes and understood that by delaying gratification, we can benefit much greater.
Our biological instincts sometimes tell us that we should do otherwise. We don’t know what winter will bring, and so we should stock up. We want to make sure that we survive right now. At the same time, the hunter who jumps too soon can also miss the chance at eating. Its the balance. We are all looking for balance in our lives and this dance between taking action now and trusting in tomorrow is a tricky one to learn the steps to.
Patience is the long game. When you play the long game, it pushes you into the present. This is the paradox. What we do right now is a form of securing our future selves. When you trust that your future self is going to be alright, you can also take more chances now. Its a blend of confidence and mindfulness. It is a realization that you control your own sense of time. It passes only as fast as the individual perceives it.
So how do we learn to be patient? Maybe the underlying special sauce is Optimism.
Optimists just seem to believe that time will be favourable. We recognize that change is the only constant and that circumstances can always be different. The canvas that our evolutionary rocket ship is painting is never finished. You, the writer of your own journey, can always change directions even if you are not sure how it will end. Its worth finding out.
Don’t let the unknown force you into a negative state of reaction. Be here now, be pro-active and enjoy what life brings, trusting that we can attract a more positive future.
Let’s practice patience.
Let’s change the way we travel, together.
The Lifestyle Project