Five Lessons for How to Crush Impatience

For several weeks now I have drooled over the possibility of upgrading my internet to the new fiber optic network available in my neighborhood. The promise of more speed when using the internet has been captivating. Our family could be cruising the information superhighway at incredibly fast speeds!

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Last week I took the plunge and ordered the new service. When installed this week, I immediately tested the speed. It didn’t measure up to what I thought I would experience. How frustrating, right? Yes, I am impatient. I want that site to load half a second faster. I want seconds shaved off of that file download. Never mind that the speed I now have is almost ten times faster than the speed provided by my previous internet carrier.

What?!? That is right. My new internet is now almost ten times faster than a week ago. Yet I am not satisfied. Is my perspective off base? I have to argue that it is.

I struggle with impatience in several areas of life. One of those areas is personal development. It is easy for me to be impatient with what I perceive as a lack of progress. Over the past several years I have learned these five lessons.

  1. Rushing results in carelessness. I am much more prone to making errors in my work product when I am trying to rush to complete a task. These are moments when I miss important details that result in errors that could have easily been caught if I had just slowed down.
  2. Experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately, telling small children not to touch a hot surface is sometimes not enough to keep them from doing so. Once they experience the pain of touching the hot stove, they are much more likely not to make the same mistake.
  3. Practice makes perfect. Improving a skill is very similar to building up a muscle. The more I do something, the more familiar I become with how to do it. I have found this to be true for me with speaking/presentation skills. As I gain more experience, my ability to deliver a better speech/presentation is increasing.
  4. Develop momentum. As I have written about before, getting moving is an important step to overcoming frustration. Movement is much more likely to stir up action around me as well. Overcoming resistance to get the ball rolling can be difficult but increasing its speed is much easier once it is rolling.
  5. Alignment. I am referring to the situation around you. When I was hired at my last two jobs, I could only see the physical job description of what was offered. Little did I know that there were issues under the surface that were just waiting there for me to solve. Not only could I do the job that they hired me for, but my skill set lined up to assist in improving other areas of the business as well. This is not something that was in my control or that I was even aware of, but I had to be patient as all the pieces on the playing board aligned.

Even though I still struggle with being impatient, I have seen great improvement in this area of my life by remembering the ideas above. I believe they can inspire you as well.

Question: How do you deal with feelings of impatience? What thought processes help you stay on track and not get discouraged? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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