Make a mental list of admirable traits that people possess such as integrity, honor, courteousness and dependability. Now, was patience on your list? It is one of those traits not usually considered as important. What’s funny is the one person most of us have the least patience with is ourselves. We are in a society of wanting everything now, and this is most true in dealing with ourselves.

 Look at your list of goals (these should be in written form). Are the timelines you have given yourself reasonable? Would you expect those results from others? Losing 10 pounds in one week is not as realistic as losing one to two pounds per week, nor is it healthy. Look at it this way. Did you put on 10 pounds in one week? How long did it take you to gain that weight? It will take diet, exercise, and patience to lose it.

  Patience sounds easy, but in today’s “want it now” society, waiting for something is difficult. We take accelerated classes to finish college early, we have surgery to lose weight quickly, and we definitely set unreasonable deadlines to fit  more work into a shorter time frame. However, there are some things that need time and patience to fully develop.

 A world class opera singer starts training at a young age, but many of the roles won’t be offered until the singer reaches 35-40. The singer may be able to sing the aria, but the richness and maturity of the voice won’t be there. A martial artist begins training as a white belt with the hopes of becoming a black belt one day. He or she may be able to do some of the moves earlier, but it takes more than that to be a black belt. It takes the patience to move through all of the ranks, tests, promotions and repeating the same moves many times over to train the muscles and brain for the move to be instinctive, powerful and correct.

 The next time you are impatient with yourself for needing more time to accomplish a task, look at the big picture. Will it be worth the wait? Will the wait make it sweeter? Is this a task worth spending the extra time and effort to accomplish? Patience is needed in many areas and is what makes the reward worthwhile. What have you accomplished that took time, but now you wouldn’t have it any other way? Eagle Scout, black belt, degree, childbirth, promotion? Don’t forget to put patience on your list of admirable traits.

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