A Little Patience
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Patience is a very difficult thing to cultivate. I can honestly say that I am, in the standard realm, a pretty patient person. I have a seven-year-old daughter who can’t phase me one bit. I have three (yes, three) big, crazy dogs who I am capable of keeping my cool with in even the most ridiculous of moments. I have a deadline-driven career that forces me to be patient and to take the time to get things done efficiently, even when I want to race through (the old measure twice, cut once rule.) Under the most insane twists and turns of life, it is very difficult to unnerve me. But while these situations require a certain modicum of unshakeable cool, the everyday moments aren’t necessarily the true test of patience and composure.
The true test is when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan. This is a true test of the ability to just “let it be.” Recently, we have had many social and economic “hit-the-fan” moments. I am sure many business owners and salespeople lost key accounts, people lost jobs, 401k plans plummeted, salaries decreased and the list goes on. No doubt, these have truly been tough times. But the question each one of us must answer is: “Have I been able to let it be and move through the moment or fall into a state of anxiety and panic, worrying about what has happened and what will happen?”
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with a Buddhist monk who spoke with me about the concept of mindfulness or living in the moment. The goal is to be fully present in the moment that exists now and to understand yesterday is gone, tomorrow will come, but for today be mindful and accepting of where you are. If you can, “be” where you are (I know this sounds odd) but it gives you the ability to move through events and make decisions with the patient knowledge that tomorrow will come and faith that everything will be alright. This is a true test of patience.