I never believed in patience much. Patience as a business skill for a design professional, that is. In my book, patience was something less successful designers did to justify lack of progress. It was also an excuse to cover up laziness. I’ve always felt that if one wanted to achieve anything in life, one needed to get off her *** and go do something about that desire. Work. Hard work, dedication, perseverance, and persistence. Those are virtues. Patience as a virtue – not so much.
Today, I’m growing as a person, a business woman, a window treatment expert…and changing my opinion.
In the last few months, life has tested me. It has thrown me curve-balls that are sometimes challenging to manage with my old attitude. The old attitude being – ‘get off my butt and do something about it’.
It doesn’t much matter exactly what my circumstances are. Insert your own here. Preferably something bigger than being stuck driving behind a slow-poke. Submitting a design proposal, and waiting for an answer. Establishing a business relationship and wanting it to blossom faster. Trying to move a project along, only to realize that it’s not in your control. Trying to move life along, and definitely realizing that it’s not in your control.
My old approach is not working. No matter how much work I’m putting into my challenges, they don’t seem to be going away. I’ve tried. I’ve done the research. I’ve put in the hours. I’ve agonized.
Today, I’ve realized that I must surrender. It’s just not up to me. Sometimes, it’s just not up to us. Call it God, call it Universe. Today, I’ve realized that being patient is just as important as being hard-working, that the two are not mutually-exclusive, and that it doesn’t make me a bad person.
I’ve realized that perseverance isn’t enough. I am extremely persistent. But even I realized that persistence runs its course, at the end of which you come to understand that there is nothing left for you to do, no matter how creative you are. What comes after perseverance is patience.
So being the control-freak that I am, my next immediate question – how do I do it? It’s still the mentality of ‘having to do something’. 1st stop – the internet, naturally J. There is no answer, but I did come across a great quote.
“Patience is not passive; on contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength” by Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
So patience is a skill, therefore it can be learned and improved with practice. When I do yoga, I set patience as the intention for my practice. If I were a praying woman, I would have asked that of God. Concentrated distraction – I consciously direct my mind away from what I’m impatiently wanting by concentrating elsewhere.
My good friend keeps reminding me that ‘there is the right time for everything’. Today, I’m surrendering to patiently waiting for my time.
How do you practice patience?