As a busy entrepreneur working in a fast paced environment we often lose focus on big picture in the heat of meeting a deadline, or having a difficult conversation with an employee who is not performing up to the standards you expect. It’s easy then to let the rush of time propel you into impatient action you might regret either instantly or later when a cooler head realizes your mistake in snapping at your most productive employee.
A deep well of impatience underlying our culture makes it easy to tap into this vast reserve at any moment when delay hinders our forward progress. We even get impatient with a Microwave that is taking way to long to heat our lunch. Some of that bubbling impatience might seem amusing except for its destructive power and the havoc it leaves in its wake.
When you best employee or client walks out on you…regretting your action is way to late.
Here is a simple exercise…that doesn’t actually use up a lot of time and that will help you practice patience in almost any situation.
The exercise comes from a book I just finished reading called: Patience: The Art of Peaceful Living by Allan Lokos
Allan says, “When faced with the kind of situation that can cause us to become impatient, the untrained mind is not likely to suddenly remember patience.”
Allan’s solution is deceptively simple. Here is the exercise with my own little twist of course.
This my little add-on to make your patience practice even more effective.
I call it The Patience List. This is a list of the top ten things that cause you to lose your patience the most.
I have conveniently created a PDF sheet for you to download. Write out the things that cause you to lose your patience the most and then keep in near you…a drawn in your desk or post it on a wall where you will see it every day. If you can’t come up with ten things right away…don’t worry…other times will come to you as your go through your week.
The second part of the exercise takes up no real time…you’ve got to like that. The idea is to create a greater awareness of patience in your life by doing this exercise at a specific time each day for about 3 weeks. I suggest a time when you first sit down at your desk to start your day. A repetitive task works well for this…say answer emails….ahhh I see your patience slipping all ready. As you open each email, think the word “patience” . Read and respond to the email…and then repeat with the next email….as you open it …think ‘patience”. Doing this will bring the practice of patience into your awareness and will help you avoid the costly mistakes or time and energy losing your patience can cause.
As I promised….this takes no time at all! Quicker that a microwave! Faster than a speeding bullet.
I’ve done this practice for only two days now…but it certainly helped me as I wrote this post. When I went to preview the post to see if the download button worked…I encountered a server error….and I lost most of my post and had to rewrite it. It did help to think the word patience…and I just calmly went back to rewriting the post…which probably turned out better than the original. This time when I save the draft for preview I will also copy and paste it into a file…you know…just in case.
Please let me know if you use this exercise and how effective it was for you.
Until we meet again: Be Inspired