“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.”
~ Leo Tolstoy

Feeling rushed rarely helps us reach our desired outcome. I know, personally, I do not respond well to being rushed.

I learned this lesson one summer day, as an early teenager, when my brother, my boyfriend and I were going to go to the beach. My brother was driving. He was all set to go and went out to the car. I was still getting ready (after all, I was a teenage girl…). As he waited, he started to honk the horn.

“I’ll be right there!”, I thought. I just had a couple of things I had to get. Very shortly after that, my brother honked the horn a few more times. Now, I was getting agitated and feeling very rushed. I didn’t want to keep him (or my boyfriend who we were going to pick up) waiting. I was rushing around as fast as I could!

Honk, honk, honk! Hurry, hurry, hurry!

At the next flurry of honks, I flew out the front door! In my haste, my hand missed the lever and smashed through the glass storm door. UGH! Blood went everywhere! Glass went everywhere, including a shard into my hand! Next stop, the emergency room for stitches.

Today it seems most people are in a hurry most of the time. We are all trying to cram as much as we possibly can into the 24-hours we have each day.

We all know there are just some things we cannot rush, no matter how much we say, “Hurry Up!” or lose our patience. Here are a few examples:

  • The birth of a baby
  • The healing of our bodies after surgery
  • A child or a person learning something for the very first time
  • Snarled traffic
  • A plant we started from seeds

Patience is something most, if not all of us, want more of. It seems only life lessons truly teach us patience. We may approach the situation requiring patience with impatience only to find rushing things along actually makes things worse or it will ultimately take it longer. Just like my trip to the beach. By the way, we finally got there; however, it was hours later and there was no swimming for me that day.

Many of my clients are learning how to be more patient through many different lessons, such as the death of a family member, delegating tasks to employees, implementing systems, etc. It is so rewarding to hear the solution(s) they have created to help them be more patient. Here are a few examples:

  • Taking a few deep breathes
  • Going for a short walk
  • Repeating a unique mantra, they created to remind them to be patient
  • Posting a picture, representing why they want to be patient, somewhere they will see it often
  • Thinking about what they would tell a loved one or a dear friend who was in a similar situation

One of the hardest lessons I think we have to learn is how to be patient with ourselves. We often are very kind and supportive of others who need more time; however, it is a completely different story when it is ourselves. We have no patience. “Hurry UP!” we tell ourselves. We can become incredibly impatient with ourselves when we feel we are taking too long (e.g. to do a new task, to learn a new tool, to heal).

As I was thinking about writing this article, I noticed something very cool about the word impatient. The next time you are impatient with yourself, break up the word impatient this way:

I M Patient

Repeat this phrase to yourself a few times – I M Patient, I M Patient, I M Patient. Then be aware of what changes when you create patience for yourself out of impatience.

Helen Kosinski
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