Is Patience a Virtue?

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Definitions

Patience (noun)– The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious

Virtue (noun) – Behaviour showing high moral standards

Is patience a virtue? We have all heard the story of the hare and the tortoise, where slow and steady wins the race, but is that true in real life? I don’t know why, but I have always thought that if I am not quick at something then I will miss out, I want everything now. Problem is, I also have these speedy expectations from others. I respect people who have patience enormously, but this isn’t something I am very good at and probably links to the fact I am a control freak.

So why am I impatient?

Technology and our surroundings have sped up our lives. We live in a world with instant gratification – maybe I am impatient, because as a millennial I have never had to be patient?! If I want to buy something, I can click on the internet and get next day delivery. If someone want’s a promotion/pay rise and isn’t getting it they can get a new job. If you want a new car or new house, there is finance and so on and so on……

Just a few little examples of scenarios that make me impatient – Sound familiar?7897454-Man-Angry-in-a-Traffic-Stock-Photo-car-cartoon-angry

  • Getting frustrated because I haven’t lost weight when I have been eating salad for 2 days?
  • Shouting at the computer screen because it takes 10 seconds to load a page?
  • Getting angry when you have asked someone to do something 100 times, and it still isn’t done.
  • Asking for a simple task to be done, and it’s not done right.
  • You are waiting for someone and they turn up an hour late, and your blood is boiling. You say you are ok, but you know that your tone of voice says otherwise.
  • I buy things now, even though in 2 days time it will be cheaper.
  • Moaning and ranting about getting stuck in traffic

We need to try to be just a little more patient

Less people today are patient and Anderson & Rainie findings show that under 35’s have a need for instant gratification and have a loss of patience. This has had damaging affects for companies, because many just create a quick fix rather than accessing the situation and finding out more information. Shorter attention spans will be detrimental in solving large complex problems which need time. Our organisations, colleagues and loved ones need us to have patience. More importantly our health needs us to have patience, it’s not healthy for us to get anxious and angry over every detail.

Ever had someone on the phone or in person that sounds anxious and irritable? It’s not nice and people might be thinking that about you. Do you think people get promoted that are all over the place, quick to judge and always talking over others? I am going to try and start being just a little more patient and here is how I am going to do it.

  • Not everyone is like you and me! Some people are slower, some are faster. Access the person you are dealing with on the task you have given them. Are they competent at the task you have given them, do you need to check in with them?
  • Identify triggers to come up with strategies to tackle them.
  • Think about the bigger picture. What is going to happen if what I want doesn’t happen when I want it to? Will the world end???
  • Take that extra 10 seconds to think before acting.
  • Try Yoga – I hear this is calming.
  • Meet people 1/2 way, instead of moaning. If someone (not mentioning names in case he reads this) is generally slower than you are at doing things, explain the situation and come up with a mutual solution together.

Some things don’t and won’t happen overnight. I think Patience is a virtue, it is something that isn’t as highly regarded nowadays as it should be. Does this statement mean patience is easy? No, not at all, like everything in life to be good at something you have to work at it. I believe what level of patience you give should be assessed for the task at hand, delve a little deeper into the reasoning’s for delays or problems. Is it worth getting annoyed or anxious about?

Sarah-Jane Kenny – Channel Solutions Consultant at the Ken Blanchard Companies

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