“Patience is passion tamed.” -Lyman Abbott
Running a site about wisdom can be an exercise in massive irony when you don’t feel like applying what you’ve learned. For me, this is most relevant when it comes to patience.
For the past three months, I’ve been planning a new feature for this site, and I’ve devoted a lot of my time, energy, and resources to creating it.
Since I am not a designer or coder, much of this has little to do with me. It’s simply a matter of paying people, communicating my vision, offering feedback as they work on it, and then waiting. And waiting. And waiting.
Yesterday, after I sent a follow-up email to see where everything is in the process, I found myself complaining internally that this should be finished by now, and dwelling on this frustration. This was roughly an hour after I completed a mini-interview that asked the question, “How do you get through most days without complaining?”
Faced with this obvious irony, I realized I was creating a sense of internal urgency and justifying it because this project has taken longer than I anticipated. Whether or not I expected this would be finished sooner, I was solely responsible for my feelings. And my feelings weren’t creating or leading to anything positive.
The reality is there is no reason to rush. It’s just that feeling out of control triggers impatience in me, and if I’m not self-aware, it can spiral into anxiety.
We all have triggers for impatience. It will likely feel far more overwhelming when the thing you’re waiting for is something that really matters to you. Waiting may feel like procrastinating, or stalling, or losing a sense of momentum. That’s often how it feels for me.
Sometimes those things may be true, but it never serves us well to dwell on them. All we can do is do what we can, and then refocus our energy where it’s most beneficial.
Today if you feel impatient with someone or something you’re waiting on, ask yourself: How can I let go of these anxious feelings and use my time positively and productively?
Photo by Wonderlane