It’s not just instant bacon and microwaves that are giving us fewer opportunities to practice patience. Our immediate access to entertainment, information, resources and each other has fueled our demand for immediate gratification with everything.
Patience is a character trait that is on the decline according to the Pew Research Center. And the downside of this means that people exhibit less self-control, are less able to work collaboratively and relationships suffer. Studies have shown that those who were able to delay their rewards had lower stress, higher achievement and were overall more likable. Who doesn’t want that!?
“Many people speak about patience if it were some sort of commodity,” writes Allan Lokos*. “We say ‘I’m running out of patience’ or ‘I’m losing my patience’, but that’s not really accurate. You don’t start the day with a full tank that’s steadily depleted.”
Author Ingela Ratledge suggests these strategies to increase you ability to be patient:
> visualize yourself exhibiting patience in situations that normally irritate you
> slow down: rethink your schedule so you’re not rushing
> daydream to distract yourself while waiting
I could add: make the bacon from a package and fry it in a pan!
Think about that and other strategies that you could deploy to be more conscious about your temperament today. Speed is often overrated.
*Allan Lokos, founder of the Community Meditation Center in New York City, author of Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living
Source: Wait for it by Ingela Ratledge, Real Simple, May 2014, p. 111+