Principles of Purpose: Have Patience
Tentatively titled Principles of Purpose: A Guide To Living Wisely, is an ongoing draft of a concept I might one day publish a book on. It’s essentially 30 Principles that I think are essential to living life wisely. Some are principles that I wished I had learned much earlier in life. Many are principles that I only learned in recovery in 2016-2017. Still other principles were ones I had applied off and on during my 56 years.
|Preface||Introduction||Trusting Your Gut||Use Good Judgement|
|Listen||Regulate Emotions||Set Boundaries||Be Mindful|
|Practice Moderation||Manage Expectations||Resolve Conflict||Plan Ahead|
|Have Patience||Be Yourself||Practice Acceptance||Be Grateful|
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”Joyce Meyer
The Elements of Patience
Patience is essential to daily life—and might be key to a happy one. Having patience means being able to wait calmly in the face of frustration or adversity, so anywhere there is frustration or adversity—i.e., nearly everywhere—we have the opportunity to practice it.
At home with our kids, at work with our colleagues, at the grocery store with half our city’s population, patience can make the difference between annoyance and equanimity, between worry and tranquility.
To have patience is to have the ability to endure difficult circumstances. It is the presence of positive behaviors in the face of adversity. There are several elements to being able to practice patience.
|Perseverance in the face of delay||Forbearance when under strain|
|Tolerance of provocation without anger||Level of endurance of frustration|
In effect patience is not taking action in situations which are distressing. It’s an absence of action during times when situations become challenging. To have patience is to exhibit self-restraint and resiliency when the circumstances may challenge one’s sense of well-being. By not responding in an adverse way to a negative stimulus, you are exhibiting a suppression of emotion that would otherwise result in negative consequences.
Patience Is A Virtue
Having patience is virtuous in many modern religions.
- Judaism–Patience in God, it is said, will aid believers in finding the strength to be delivered from the evils that are inherent in the physical life.
- Christianity–patience is one of the most valuable virtues of life.
- Islam–Allah is with those who are patient, more specifically during calamity and suffering.
- Buddhism–patience is one of the “perfections” (paramitas) that a bodhisattva trains in and practices to realize perfect enlightenment (bodhi).
- Hinduism–Patience, in Hindu philosophy, is the cheerful endurance of trying conditions and the consequence of one’s action and deeds (karma).
The Science Of Patience
Religions and philosophers have long praised the virtue of patience; now researchers are starting to do so as well. Recent studies have found that, sure enough, good things really do come to those who wait. Some of these science-backed benefits are detailed below, along with three ways to cultivate more patience in your life.
Reframe the situation. Feeling impatient is not just an automatic emotional response; it involves conscious thoughts and beliefs, too. If a colleague is late to a meeting, you can fume about their lack of respect, or see those extra 15 minutes as an opportunity to get some reading done. Patience is linked to self-control, and consciously trying to regulate our emotions can help us train our self-control muscles.
Practice mindfulness. In one study, kids who did a six-month mindfulness program in school became less impulsive and more willing to wait for a reward. The GGSC’s Christine Carter also recommends mindfulness practice for parents: Taking a deep breath and noticing your feelings of anger or overwhelm (for example, when your kids start yet another argument right before bedtime) can help you respond with more patience.
Practice gratitude. In another study, adults who were feeling grateful were also better at patiently delaying gratification. When given the choice between getting an immediate cash reward or waiting a year for a larger ($100) windfall, less grateful people caved in once the immediate payment offer climbed to $18. Grateful people, however, could hold out until the amount reached $30. If we’re thankful for what we have today, we’re not desperate for more stuff or better circumstances immediately.