Value of Patience

Listen all you people, come gather round
I gotta get me a game plan, gotta shake you to the ground
But just give me, huh, what I know is mine
People do you hear me, just gimme the sign
It ain’t much I’m asking, if you want the truth
Here’s to the future for the dreams of youth

I want it all (give it all I want it all)
I want it all (yeah)
I want it all and I want it now

—2nd Verse, “I Want it All,” by Brian May of Queen, 1989

Brian May wrote this song, being inspired by his wife, Anita Dobson, an English television actress, who used to say, “I want it all, and I want it now.”

Patience

We all operate in a digitally obsessed world where we’re used to having what we need immediately and right at our fingertips.

And as business leaders, we’re constantly busy. Between rushing from work to home to family events, it’s no wonder we don’t really have much patience.  Our environment makes us think that we don’t have the time for it—it’s just as Brian May wrote, “I want it all and I want it now.”

To say patience is a virtue is an understatement. We need to understand that patience is more of a skill—one that can be learned and needs constant nurturing.

Patience is the state of being that occurs between experience and reaction. Whether you’re trying to be patient with yourself, others, or life in general, it seems always to involve the experience of dealing with delays or obstacles.

Benefits of Patience

The practice of patience has many benefits.  Here are a few.

Shapes Talents.  To achieve your dreams, you must have the zeal to overcome challenges, and that zeal comes from patience.

Patience transforms relationships.  Relationships are difficult and often require us to think through what we’re feeling, doing, and saying, and that requires patience

Patience promotes a positive attitude.  If things are not going the way you want them to, instead of getting frustrated, practice thinking of the positives of the situation which requires patience.

Patience makes you healthier.  Anger and stress are two things that can ruin a person’s health. And patience is the antidote to both these illnesses.

Learn Patience

Patience can be learned and cultivated.  Here are five ways we can learn more patience.

  1. Practice gratitude. Thankfulness has a multitude of benefits.  Research shows it makes us happier, less stressed, more optimistic, and it can also help us practice patience.
  2. Be mindful of what is making you feel rushed. Our minds are constantly jumping from thought to thought, and task to task.  Mindfulness, or awareness of our thoughts, can do a lot of good when we have a million things going through our heads. Write out your thoughts to illuminate the insanity of the jumping mind and the value of slowing down.
  3. Make yourself wait. Instant gratification may seem like the most “feel good” option at the time, but psychology research actually implies the opposite. And the only way for us to get into the habit of waiting is to practice
  4. Embrace the uncomfortable. When we experience something outside of our comfort zone, we get impatient about the circumstances. We need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable in order to cultivate a little more patience.
  5. Do a little deep breathing. When all else fails, try taking a few big breaths which have the power to calm the mind and body.

The Bible

In Galatians 5:22-23, the Apostle Paul identifies patience as among the fruits of the spirit, meaning as we get closer to Christ, fruits of being in Christ will begin to manifest themselves.  As we follow the gospel, be will become more patient.

The theme of patience is throughout the Bible.  In the Old Testament, God is patient with the Israelites as they resist following His commands.  God waits centuries before He finally takes action to correct their behavior.

In the New Testament, we learn through Jesus how to be patient with other people as well.  James 1:2-4 says.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

There is really no reason for us to “want it all and want it now.”  God will provide as he sees fit.  However, in the meantime, it will benefit us greatly to practice patience is all our affairs.