I have to admit that, in the past, I would not have been described by many as a patient person. I, like many, thought that patience delayed desired results that could happen sooner.
I soon found out that my timeline was not the only thing to consider in getting results.
My impatience often got me results with ruffled feathers. That’s OK in an emergency, but everything is not an emergency.
If you approach all endeavors with an emergency timetable in mind, you will deal with lots of impatience and get less cooperation from others and experience delayed results.
I have a new definition for patience: It will take the time it takes.
That means that you have to be flexible. If you cannot anticipate and pivot from monkey wrenches and roadblocks to what to do next, you will be spinning your wheels in frustration which is impatience on steroids.
Yes, there are real deadlines. Train, plane and boat schedules come to mind. Then there are self imposed deadlines that may be unrealistic because they don’t allow time to deal with the ubiquitous “Murphy” should he show up with his attorney.
There has to be breathing space built in or you will spend too much time attempting to catch your breath.
Here’s an example of impatience on parade: I occasionally watch a very talented woman host a news hour on TV in the afternoons. She talks very fast which causes her to make more speaking mistakes than she would if she slowed down just a bit. Additionally, she doesn’t give you time to breathe and process what she’s saying. I’m guessing she grew up with one impatient parent that she unwittingly emulates. Her impatience to get to her point has her gifted observations and questions get lost in her rapid fire delivery.
That’s a self imposed deadline that gets in her way. My broadcast coaching experience tells me his woman could easily write her own ticket to greater things if she would just take the time it takes.
What are you rushing that could benefit by more space? I’ve told the following story before but it bears repeating. There was a rookie heart surgeon assisting an accomplished doctor during open heart surgery. They were about to do a procedure that had to happen in 45 seconds or less to be successful. The seasoned surgeon observed how impatient his young assistant was up to this point and then took the time to say this: “We’ll have plenty of time if we don’t rush.”
What are you rushing towards that, if you took time to breathe, would happen in much less time?
Impatience is any timetable’s enemy. It seems like it would move things along faster but the reality is it slows things down.
Here’s my parting piece of advice for the perpetually impatient: If your arms are folded and your foot is tapping, take the time it takes and get the results you’ve been lacking.
All the best,
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