How To Become More Patient (On the Big Things)

The Wifi dropping out, an extremely long line, being stuck in traffic and plane delays. These are all minor examples of frustrations leading to impatience in my life, and I’m assuming yours too. Our attempt to become more patient is often temporary, and we revert to our old ways of expecting a fast-paced lifestyle around us. We feel impatient because humans have engrained the thought that we can do things faster with each new invention since the beginning of time. And with each new invention, we receive one new dent in our frustrations. We feel impatient when something doesn’t line up with our habits. If we can become patient on the big things we do in life, we can help manage our frustrations on the small things. Here’s how.


become more patient



Change Your Attitude Towards Waiting


We often mistake patience for our ability to wait for something. But in reality, it’s our attitude in waiting. There may be big things we want to achieve: Lose weight, create a business, build a house, buy a car etc. But where we fail is in the previous habits of convenience. We don’t see results right away, so we stop performing the actions to get us from A to B to C then to D. When we optimise our life for convenience, we set ourselves up for consistent frustration. To become more patient, we can rewire how we think about waiting for the results. To do this, we should find something else to enjoy. It may be time with family, friends or enjoying a hobby. 

When we immerse ourselves in one particular goal, we increase our impatience with what we’re trying to achieve. Everything else around us becomes less important. By focusing on something which complements our one big goal, we limit our frustrations and can enjoy the process of moving forward and progressing.


Be Patient With Change


When we’re working towards something big, we often make certain changes to help get us there. It could be as small as waking up an hour earlier or as big as moving cities to start a new career. When we start to notice different things in our lives, we adapt and direct our habits in what becomes familiar. The upside to this is we’re going with, not against, the changes we make. The downside, though, brings an increased sense of impatience. Our proclivity to perform new actions in the face of change means we open ourselves up to frustration when we don’t see the results we want. 


Expect Some Instability


In the late 1970s, Salvatore Maddi, a University of Chicago researcher, began studying employees who worked at Illinois Bell, a company owned by AT&T. It was at the time of deregulations in the telecommunications industry. Maddi found that some managers had trouble coping with the changes, whereas others thrived. The difference in his research showed that adaptive leaders chose to view all changes, no matter good or bad. Those managers remained engaged instead of being personally attacked when they were forced to pivot. They performed positive actions in their work, recognising opportunities to fix long-standing internal problems that wouldn’t have otherwise been dealt with. The managers who struggled were found to have spent their time and energy being impatient and consumed by ‘how things used to be’. As individuals, we need to accept instability but still move with purpose. When we accept this, we become more patient when faced with unexpected challenges and frustrations. 


Practice Becoming Patient


When we focus on learning skills, building towards something big and doing good work, impatience becomes one of our biggest enemies. When we’re trying to live a bit better, there are moments we want things to move a bit quicker. We build resilience that would once threaten our derailment by making ourselves wait. Building patience helps create wealth in our lives. Become patient in the gym, become patient in the workplace and become patient in relationships. Take a few minutes to evaluate your week and consider what’s essential and not helping you progress on the big things. The principle in patience is to be happy with our work and not be mad at it. When we do this consistently, our energy and focus goes into the constitent positive actions and not our frustrations. Life then becomes more enjoyable.