Question: I’m finding that I’m becoming less patient as I get further into my career. Sometimes my impatience doesn’t serve me well. Any tips on how to be more patient?
Answer: I’m right there with you . . . I hate to wait. As a matter of fact my sense of urgency is off the charts – my colleagues can certainly attest to that! It’s the worst when I’m in my car. I think that once upon a time a wicked witch put a stoplight curse on me because I seem to hit every red light known to man. In my world, things need to happen right now and right away. I have a perspective that life is a fleeting moment in the overall scheme of things and there is too much that I want to accomplish in a short period of time. So I’m not very tolerant of things that slow me down.
Yet, I actually have become more patient in many respects. What I’ve learned is that my impatience at times has caused me to try and muscle through situations where a more patient and finessed approach would have been much more effective. My sense of urgency remains as high as ever, but I’ve become more intuitive at backing off and being a bit more gentle and methodical in moving forward. At some point in the past I realized that my impatience with the people around me wasn’t helping them advance the cause. Instead it was frustrating and flustering them. That quite literally gave me pause.
My sense of urgency is now tempered with my willingness to slow down and make sure that the people around me have clarity and understanding about the situation at hand. If they don’t, it’s my obligation to patiently take the time to help them gain a clear perspective. I liken this to the simple act of shifting gears in a car. In a lower gear the engine revs up and runs harder. When shifting into a higher gear, the RPMs drop and the engine doesn’t have to work as hard. The more impatient we become the harder our engine has to work.
Slowing down long enough to ensure that others have a clear picture of the road ahead is in itself, a practice in patience. And this actually allows us to shift into a higher gear and go even faster.
This blog is being written in tandem with my book, “An Entrepreneur’s Words to Live By,” available on Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle (My Book), as well as being available in all of the other major eBook formats.