If you were to ask Gary Vaynerchuk, a well known serial entrepreneur and internet personality, what his success was built around, he would respond with a single word, “Patience.”
What exactly is patience? To be clear, let’s turn to the dictionary for a precise definition. “Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” There is no one who I have met that hasn’t had experience with one of these three areas.
Can you see why patience, the capacity to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry, can be a great asset for your day to day life, and long-term success?
Patience is a critical component to experiencing increased joy, less stress, and more success, and as soon as you realize this, then you can begin to use strategies to practice and develop patience. How do you practice patience? Let’s look into this in more depth.
How to Practice Patience
1. Recognize when you feel impatience.
Impatience can arise in many different scenarios. It can take it’s form while you are waiting in a long line, driving in traffic, and also when your long term goals seem like they are a far way off. Whenever you do experience feelings of impatience, it is easy to direct our focus on the external factors of the situation, blaming our impatience on the people or conditions that are not in alignment with our expectations.
One reason why we feel impatient is because we expect the people around us and our environment to adjust to our expectations.
Here is an example. You just woke up at the same time you usually do to get ready for work. You take a shower, make breakfast, get dressed, and the whole morning is going as planned. You know it takes 20 minutes to get from your house to your job, and you have exactly 20 minutes to get there.
You walk out the door, hop in the car, and you get to the freeway and the traffic is backed up all the way to the on-ramp… Uh-oh. In situations like this, we often get worked up and impatient, even though the circumstances are completely out of our control. Our expectations are often unmet, and it is a part of reality.
A few other reasons why we feel impatient are when we think we should be able to control our thoughts and emotions, and when we are trying to learn something new, or master a disipline. We often experience something Buddhists called, “monkey mind.” The term monkey mind means “unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive; uncontrollable”.
It is something we often experience, and it is one of our sources of impatience when we feel like we should be able to have complete control over it.
Which one of these reasons why we feel impatient do you experience? Once you are able to identify the source of your impatience, then you are ready to make a change.
2. How does impatience make you feel?
From personal experience, whenever I feel impatient, it usually isn’t a very pleasant experience. Usually feeling impatience is frustrating, and I tend to avoid feeling that way during the day. Once you are feeling impatient, take a moment to really feel in in your heart and mind. How is your body feeling? Is it tense or relaxed? When you become aware of how unpleasant feeling impatience is, then you can use it as leverage to practice patience.
3. Turn your impatience into a practice of patience.
When you face a situation that is testing your patience, it is a great time to ask yourself empowering questions like, “What can I do to practice patience in this situation?”
One technique that works well is the glass half full/ half empty idea. How are you looking at the glass? Are you only seeing one half of the situation? When you look at your circumstances mindfully, you will be able to see the good in the situation, which will enable you to be patient.
“I hate how many people think “glass half-empty” when their glass is really four-fifths full. I’m grateful when I have one drop in the glass because I know exactly what to do with it.” Gary Vaynerchuk
4. Remember that good things take time.
What are some of your best memories? I can imagine that many of them were instances where you worked hard, and your dedication and patience was rewarded. Patience was a key factor in what got you through the difficult times, and led you to success. Good things in life usually require patience. If you are impatient, you are more likely to fail or give up. When you are experiencing impatience, remember that good things take time.
5. Expect unmet expectations.
As we learned, when our expectations are left unmet or unfulfilled, we turn to impatience. We can counter feeling impatient by expecting that are expectations won’t be met. Not everyone knows what your triggers are. We have no control over whether or not traffic is going to slow us down, but we do have control over how we react to our circumstances. Forget impatience, and remember patience when you face testing situations.
6. Have a positive outlook.
Meeting any challenge, difficulty, or obstacle in life with a positive outlook is going to help you face it with a better perspective. When you are thinking positively, you are more likely to be motivated to do the work required to practice patience. If you develop a belief that with patience, you will get what you desire, then you are going to succeed.
“You are not patient enough. Your lack of patience is killing you and your need of things is killing you.” Gary Vaynerchuk
Check out this 3 minute video from Gary Vaynerchuck, about the one word that built his success!
Patience: The One Word that Built Gary Vaynerchuck’s Success
What triggers you to feel impatient, and what have you done in the past to overcome it? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!