Last week I talked commitment. I talked about long term and short term change. Alongside commitment is the quality of patience. So what is it and why is it important?
Waiting in life is a reality. Sometimes we wait for something or someone and we’re out of sorts, anxious, or perturbed and sometimes while we’re waiting we feel a sense of ease and calm. The latter being patience.
Committing and staying the course is often simple but not easy. I’ve heard it said that commitment can sometimes be like wrangling an elephant. Sounds pretty hard and makes sense to me. How do we engage the quality of patience to see something through?
Again, patience is the ability for you to keep your cool while you’re waiting for the thing you want to actually happen. The longer the time frame of the goal and bigger the shift the more patience required. I’ll admit that I can be compulsive. When I was younger I was known to eat dessert first at restaurants. Hell! Sometimes I’d only eat dessert. I would say,”I eat dessert first because I may not live to the end of the meal.” Who else can feel me when the idea of waiting the two days for amazon prime seems like forever? We live in a world of instant gratification.
I was talking to a friend last week about one of Brene Brown’s books. He said that there was a part of the book introducing the idea of living as if this was your last week to live. This is a pretty provocative idea and would certainly shift how many of us live our lives. Take a few minutes to think about that. Who would you hang you hang out with and spend your precious time? What would you do with them? We’d do the things important to us. Good. Right? This should all be kept in mind. And… most of us aren’t going to die in a week. We’re going to go on to live and other thirty, forty, fifty, or more years. Wherever you’re at in the stages of life we still need to plan and live for the long game. We still need to engage the quality of patience and hold on for the marathons in life.
When I was younger my martial arts teacher asked me to commit to ten years of practice. It sounded cool more than anything but I did it. I committed and I saw it through. And when I started participating in an organization called The Mankind Project I committed to myself the same again, ten years of participation. It required commitment and it did require tenacity and patience.
How would you live your life differently if you only had a week to live?
How would you prepare differently if you had another 100 years to live?
How do you make sense of both the short term way of living and the long term preparations needed to be comfortable in the future?