We all know that patience is a virtue. As per famous proverb: “all good things come to those who wait”. However, lately I have thought about this concept further in trying to understand what being patient actually entails.
The normal dictionary definition of patience states that it is a capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. As Wikipedia puts it: “Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity”.
I recall that about 15 years ago I would have been considered to be a very patient person. These days, with kids, a career and wanting to get some quality of life, I often find this virtue slipping through my fingers. Realising my own shortcomings, I have made a conscious effort to stop my thoughts in their tracks, just as my emotions are about to spill into the dangerous territory of becoming angry or upset. I have learned that being patient has many benefits in life, including:
- Becoming a better listener and more empathetic towards others, thus allowing others time to properly interact with you;
- Making better decisions as you are less likely to be irrational and fueled by emotion;
- Being able to teach your children right from wrong without screaming, loosing your cool and showing them the wrong example of behaviour (this one is the hardest by far);
- Developing faith and belief in yourselves and your ability to get to the end result you are so patiently waiting for;
- Reducing the levels of stress and anxiety; and
- Improving self-control.
Aristotle once said that “patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet”. Most definitely, not often will you see the light at the end of the tunnel to be able to guide your thoughts and emotions in the right direction. However, all we can do is try our hardest. If all people in the world had at least 5% more patience and tolerance for things to come, we would be living in a very different world.