When was the last time you stood in a long queue to pay your bills or book a railway/airline ticket or a movie ticket? It won’t be an exaggeration to say that a lot of us recount those days of waiting in queues as horrible and ‘time wasters’. Almost all of these facilities are now available at our fingertip, almost everything from paying bills on your mobile banking apps to shopping for grocery, confectionery, electronic goods, restaurant reservations and education. You name it and you’ve got it.
While it has brought a lot of convenience to us and “potentially” saved our time to utilize it somewhere else (maybe on another app :-)) , it has also in a way bereaved us from one of the virtues called “Patience” and that too to an extent that if our app is running slow on our mobile, we may just kill it and restart it or curse our data speed.
Patience has been recognized by great leaders and scholars alike as a virtue. A virtue must for leaders in any walk of life. In his epic work “Ramcharitmanas” the great Indian poet Goswami Tulsidas observes patience as one of the wheels of a “chariot for success”, other one being valor. Benjamin franklin in his famous quote writes, and I quote “He that can have Patience can have what he will”.
Well, patience as defined in dictionary is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Answer lies in the definition itself. Anxiousness is a state of mind that makes us less effective at whatever we are doing, makes us angry and fidgety and impacts the people in our immediate vicinity adversely. In my life, I have had the opportunity to be with people who were impatient and patient alike and without a spec of doubt I can say the one who had demonstrated patience in difficult times, are the ones I admire as someone who I want to be like.
Also, I strongly believe that patience is required to build our wisdom and wisdom is what leads us to take right decisions for self, for society, for nation and for the world. However, wisdom is something that comes with time. The cycle of wisdom goes like this, first comes information and that in today’s worlds can come in seconds if you have the mobile with a good data card which is in the network range :-), immediately one can sound knowledgeable about the topic and this is a good thing to have. When this information is used again and again, it unveils some latent truths and brings about new knowledge of the same subject which was not evident at its face value, this becomes our Learning and person can be called Learned about a subject, a subject matter expert. Once learning is applied in different ways and forms, in different context and with various points of views, it lead us to wisdom and this surely is not happening in a day or two, not even weeks or months. It takes years of learning and experiences to build on wisdom.
The risk we are facing today is that impatience is almost becoming our habit and with habit being repeated over time, it will become our nature. I am trying to draw a line for myself for things which I want immediately and instantly and for things where I want to spend time so that in some parts, I am able to cultivate patience, which I truly believe in as something which bring with it peace, health and happiness. I also realize that spending time in oneself, for self-development on the ongoing basis is a way to practice patience, because self-development does not happen in a day, it comes with patiently installing the right habits and waiting to see the results in the long run and this can become one of the ways to cultivate patience. If you want to do the same and wondering where to start, I think Being “Self-Aware” is the first step.
Sounds complex? OK, here is a simpler idea, cultivate a hobby in the real world, something that you always wanted to do, something which seems outside your comfort zone. It could be learning to play guitar, astronomy, photography, learning some new sport, pursuing to run a marathon, anything. Put it on your calendar, bring it into you habit without worrying about the result and be consistent for at-least 6 months. Try this and I am sure with patience will be seen in practice.
I would like to finish this thought by saying Thank you! for patiently reading this article till the end.