I was speaking with a colleague who was lamenting her issues with patience. She felt herself either caught the victim of being too patient or losing opportunities by not being patient enough. She wanted to know how to develop more patience and use it more productively.
I told her the key thing to understand is that patience is not a muscle. You don’t increase the amount of patience you have by exercising it more.
- Have you ever had to wait in a long, slow-moving line where no one seemed to be in a hurry but you?
- Are you the fan of a sports team that aggravates you by continuing to find a way to lose?
- Have you tried to lead an organization in a way that required a change of direction or approach, and your team continually struggles to buy-in or get it?
Losing patience is a reaction or response to angst. Doing something that taxes your patience over and over does not grow patience. Instead, it creates cynicism or causes you to give up.
You see, patience is not a muscle; it is a currency. A precious currency.
If you struggle with patience, it is probably not because you lack enough patience. It is more likely you need a different approach to where and how you spend it. Like all limited resources, you should only invest it in where you gain the most significant benefit. Properly spent, patience yields many benefits like endurance, experience, and better goal attainment.
Contact me if you’d like to talk more about patience, and how to maximize it within yourself, and in leading your business.
“It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die.
Than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.”
– Julius Caesar