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The Purpose of Patience

  • Written by Devi
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Are you wondering why patience is a virtue? Here are five reasons why patience is important.

We have forgotten the importance of patience in our modern world. Frequently we get frustrated when the internet fails to load quick enough. Often we are angry when a driver is going the speed limit. More often than not we get irritated when our children need attention. Do you want more patience but lack motivation? Inspired by M.J. Ryan's book, The Power of Patience, here are five reasons why patience is essential.

Turns Talent into Achievement
Patience is required to develop talent. M.J. Ryan concludes that, "Anything that we could potentially become good at requires that we dedicate ourselves to long effort" (2003, p.20). To overcome challenges on the road to excellence, we need patience. Have more patience and you will more easily achieve your dreams.
Do you have an important dream but become impatient by what it takes to achieve it? Write your goal down and break it down into mini steps. Set dates to achieve each step and start the first step. This methodical approach will help you develop patience and help you achieve your goal more quickly.

Benefits Relationships

Relationships require you to understand and respect other people's needs. Patience is the foundation of a good relationship whether with your partner, friends or children. Often we get irritated by the smallest things. We become defensive, lash out and hurt someone's feelings. Patience helps us accept other people's differences. It reminds us to be tolerant.
Is there one relationship where you could be more patient? Brainstorm ways to diffuse irritation and anger. For example, when you feel yourself getting defensive, mentally list all the good qualities of the other person. Picture yourself showing appreciation for this person.

Creates Better Health

According to M.J. Ryan, anger and stress contribute to poor health. She states that, "Research demonstrates that angry folks are one and a half times more likely to get cancer than others and have a four to five times higher risk of heart disease" (2003, p.33). Patience is an antidote to anger and stress. Patience helps us be more tolerant of others and to become more flexible in the face of life's challenge.
Examine the degree to which you get angry or stressed. What ways can you cope with the challenges of life without exacting a toll on your body? There are many physical, social and self-care activities to help uplift and clear tension. Make a list of five activities and try to schedule more of them.

Builds Empathy

Patience helps us bridge the gap between ourselves and others. It helps understand and empathize with others. Without patience we would get irritated by the baby crying on the airplane, by the elderly person driving cautiously on the freeway or by the child talking loudly in the movie theater. With patience we allow people to be who they are.
What is one situation that leaves you frustrated and irritated? Next time that situation happens try to see it from the other person's point of view. How does this change your experience? Remember impatience causes you to suffer as well as other people.

Navigate Life Challenges

Our lives have ups and downs. During the valleys, we often become impatient when life isn't going our way. Maybe we got turned down for a job we really wanted, have gained fifteen pounds or had a financial setback. We become irritated and unhappy. We want things to be different.
Can you reframe one situation to see it in a positive light? Can you find the open door rather than focus on the closed one? Take five minutes to list all the good from a supposedly negative experience. Each time you feel yourself dwell on the negative, try to change your thinking.

Patience is essential to becoming a happier and healthier person. If patience isn't your strong suit, don't worry. Like a muscle, patience can be strengthened. The previous five exercises can help you become a more patient person


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