Look at ourselves; as children we lost our temper when forced into anything, refused goodies, threatened with dire consequences for indiscretions and bullied into studying. As teens, the issues remained the same but the scope of parental and societal pressures just kept piling up. As adults, when our patience was tested we continued to rebel but now the consequences were more serious and so we often cloaked lack of patience and our annoyance in varied masks of indifference, avoidance of people or tasks, backbiting and gossip and in extreme case with subtle threats.
With the pace of the world getting faster, our patience levels are getting much lower and our reactions much stronger. Perhaps that accounts for higher incidence of violence, increasing road rage, divorce cases shooting up, the rise in psychiatric cases and the large number of suicides. The pressures of meeting academic excellence, the unrealistic parental expectations, the craving for financial success and the craze for instant success and recognition have been resulted in more frustration and dissatisfaction.
Patience can be cultivated if we recognize that our life is to short to waste on just disciplining and monitoring others; be it our children, our spouse, our elders or our neighbors and acquaintances. At the same time, we cannot avoid our responsibilities, but we must know where to draw the line and let others lead their own lives. When our patience is tested, we need to focus on other areas that require our attention and let the irritants be sorted out on its own. The key is to deflect our attention from what makes us lose our patience to what can give us positive results and happiness.
Remember : “The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.” Ralph Marston
- Think of the situations and people who test your patience. Be honest and ask yourself how many of these situations are created by you? How many the people who test your patience are known to you intimately? The answers will be a revelation.
- How do you normally react, when you lose your patience? Does your temper go up; do you get abusive; do you sulk; do you demonstrate physically; do you get sarcastic; do you simply walk away; do you crib and indulge in backbiting?
- How will you recognize that you are losing your patience? Outline the steps you will take ensure that your patience levels increase. What are those compulsive behavior that you will attempt to check when you realize that you have lost your patience.
- Can you identify the person in your life who displayed exemplary patience? How do you think this person managed to have such extraordinary patience. Have you ever thanked the person for the patience shown to you?
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