I think there’s a really bad diarrhoea joke in my chosen title haha! Of course, I won’t explicitly mention it 🤣
I wish I could understand my perceived logic sometimes but then in time, things start to make sense anyway so maybe I don’t want to? I’m not sure. It’s a double edged sword knowing exactly what’s happening at the exact moment in time it’s happening. In one hand you’re more likely to be prepared to deal with whatever it is but on the other hand, perhaps you’re not fully equipped to do so therefore knowing won’t help you that much at all! Patience, my friend, is the key. It’s the silent trait of all those that succeed. They might rant and rave about what they did do (in terms of physical tasks) however, throughout their pursuits and endeavours, they kept pushing forward with patience. As my parents always say patience is a virtue. It sure is… It’s also a skill. A hard one to master at that. I’m sure they’re not the only parents to say that to their children OR have been told that ABOUT their children….
I’d just like to note that perhaps, my most impatient moments have been at restaurants and coffee shops, particularly Starbucks. I’m going to blame hangriness (being hungry and angry) rather than my usual character. The only other times are when I watch sports. I think as a sports fan it’s allowed with the margins of winning and losing being so thin. In the rest of life, patience is most definitely a must.
Seeking that soulful bliss is like trying to perfect a soufflé and the truth about perfection is, it’s not really possible. Now, I’m not saying you can’t be at peace but you can’t expect tranquility of the mind in a society where social media is following you around quite literally like a shadow. In fact, it’s even closer than that because a shadow is normally behind you where as social media is either in your pocket, in your bag or right in front of you in your hand or on screen. Take monks as an example, in order to reach a level of calm that can actually be considered tranquil they cut themselves off from most of the world and live a truly simple life. They eat, sleep and meditate. Here I am thinking I lead a pretty simple life with my IPhone in hand, a coffee and a bus to catch to some destination where I’ve got some errand I need to run and a person I have to meet. I think that’s simple and in today’s society it is, until I think about monks. It’s a big commitment to dedicate yourself to monk-hood (or lack of considering they give up the real world to do so) and you have to respect them for that. Jay Shetty, a member on the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2017 did exactly that. A London born guy with Indian heritage living a western life, going about his business and chasing his dreams just like most other people. Most people are the same irrespective of their ethnicity, they just want a little more money, a level more of respect and something that validates their own self worth. Anyway, you can listen to his story in his own words here (I most certainly recommend doing so) to get a true sense of how a London guy living the London life becomes a monk! It’s fascinating. He talks about getting to a level of peace through serving others and mediating. I’m cutting through a lot of what he said by condensing (and rephrasing) it however, it truly pulled the strings of intrigue in me. Not enough to want to be a monk but enough to make me certain that patience isn’t just a virtue, it’s a very important skill. It requires work like getting a six pack or building a wall. The old saying Rome wasn’t built in a day is as true as the sky is blue on a summers day in Hawaii. Patience requires work. It’s not as hard as you think though.
The Patience Theory (untested)
I think that the more patient, calm and relaxed people you surround yourself with in your life will lead you to being calmer too. Whether we like it or not, we end up copying traits of the people we grow up with, work with and generally converse with. I’m not saying that you should give up on the people that you do know or to change your circle of people completely. I just think surrounding yourself with calmer, peaceful and still, persevering ambitious people is the way to go. Adding lazy, lethargic people with a calm manner isn’t the type of influence you want. You want the hard working, patient and ambitious kind. If they’re super successful then that’s a bonus! You don’t need a circle of ten. In fact, even one great influence can be all you need. A mentor would be ideal. It’s not something people like committing to though so unless you’re lucky with knowing people like that it’s hard, however, there’s nothing to say that you can’t admire and learn from a distance. With the internet, you access such individuals and groups through your smart smartphone screen (in that sense it truly is smart) and some of my faves are Tom Bilyeu of the Impact Theory and as I’ve mentioned, Jay Shetty. In my real life, my inspiration is probably one of my uncles. He’s really calm and probably the most successful in my family. I don’t live in the same vicinity as him and to be honest, we don’t even communicate a lot apart from at the odd family gathering. I really respect the fact that every time I hear something about him, it’s always positive whether that’s in his career or how he carries himself as a person. I don’t want to have a great career at the cost of being an asshole and yet, I wouldn’t want to be a great person who didn’t amount to anything either. I value the maturity in my uncle. There’s this misconception that maturity in all aspects of life comes with age. I don’t buy into that notion mainly as people have different life experiences at different times. I don’t think I understood the emotion of hurt until someone I truly lived passed away. I don’t think I understood loss until that same occurrence. In the case of my uncle, I think he’s pretty mature. I genuinely respect his character, inside and outside of his career. I respect and look up to people that find a balance. They have their own problems and they struggle, I’m sure of it. It’s just a breath of fresh air to see people push through those tough times with perseverance, perspective and positive energy, not forgetting to utilise the skill of patience whilst they gallop along their own paths. Getting somewhere great isn’t always at the forefront of the mindset or plan of successful people, it’s taking the first step and making the most of it. The journey will be long and tough, if you don’t have patience you won’t get very far.
Practical Advice – Path to Patience
I’m no saint. Only recently, I was one of the first twenty or so people at a platform (where we all seemingly arrived in sync a quarter of an hour earlier than the trains arrival) and somehow, I was one of the last to get on. To make it a little bit more salty, I was stood right by the toiletry facilities next to a beaming hot window with sunshine tearing through like it was the middle of a Californian July! Some dude had luggage obstructing my stance and I was in a position facing the whole carriage because I couldn’t stand any other way due to another passenger. He was in the same vicinity as me except he was closer to the bathroom door so at the very least, I was grateful for the small mercies. Nobody likes a bathroom door opening on them on a train. I tel you that from experience! You know, it’s awkward when you’re in a small space in any walk of life as you don’t want to be too close, let alone face to face! I was getting hot and bothered (because of the sunshine from the window not the luggage man or the man near the bathroom hah) and I just stood there, kept my mind busy on a poem I was previously writing. I was trying my best not to sigh or make an unsavoury facial expression. I took a few deep breaths deciding to look out the window instead. I smiled at a few of the passengers I was facing. I opened up my notepad sifting through a few of my recently written words. In the end, my stop came pretty quickly. If I had stomped, sighed and scowled my way through that journey… It would have been immature and idiotic. I’d have not gained anything but a grumpy attitude. It’s best to find alternative thoughts or focuses in troubled moments if possible or if not, real practical solutions to the problem if it’s something that you need to fix rather than something that’s an annoyance. Here are my (non-professionally advised) tips:
- Take deep breaths
- Sip water. If you’re going to lose your patience, at the very least stay hydrated!
- Camomile and green tea (my hippy friend swears by it a bit too much. I think it is good too but maybe I should question what she puts in it, hmmm?)
- Munch on a snack bar (preferably something crunchy because the noise of the crunch is often distracting)
- Meditate or pray (goes and in hand with deep breaths too)
- Long walks and walking away from angry situations
- Conversing with other calm people is a given. You know how they say ‘you are what you eat’ well I’d extend that to some extent to ‘You are what you meet’
- Listening to Impact Theory by Tom Bilyeu (who I think is great if you haven’t noticed ***high five to myself***
- Getting rest. Sleeping. As much as you need to work and drink, your body also needs recovery in sleep. Imperative.
- Nutrition to fuel the body and mind. Good nutrition is something that science recommends, my great aunt recommends and my common sense recommends. I don’t need to give you sources for validation on that. It’s pretty self explanatory. Put good stuff in your body. You feel better. Good vibes.
- Do nice things for other people on difficult circumstances. Help the neighbours with an errand. Help the old lady cross the road. Be charitable with your time and money for those less fortunate than you and seeing their patience through difficulties will enhance your patience
- Try to be happy. When you are happy, you can persevere through adversities. A grumpy individual will only worsen their own situation so try to be happy.
Think about how you have handled life recently and I’m sure, like me, there are times when you could have been more patient. Try some of these tips out and let me know. I sure will be taking my own advice especially when it comes to train journeys or supermarket queues, or worse, the line at my local Subway for a meatball marinara!