Time flies by and so do we. Maybe you sometimes feel you are missing out on something when you cannot keep up with the high speed. You may overestimate your chances of coming to a quicker conclusion or you want to take a shortcut. In the end, you find it was all counterproductive. It might help you to realize that every change takes its own time. Just as grapes only turn into fine wine after a long period of fermentation and maturation. Here is my little invitation to self-reflection:
- Do you always want to have things done immediately?
- Are you annoyed if other people cannot keep up with your speed?
- Do you assume something does not work because you cannot see an immediate result?
- Do you think everything in life should happen quickly?
- Does the sentence “A good thing takes time” does not correspond with your philosophy of life?
- Are you proud of your multi-tasking abilities?
- Do you sometimes underestimate how much time it takes to achieve a certain result?
Why we are often so impatient
In our fast-moving times we are used to the fact that everything is ‘immediately’ possible. In former times letters took days or weeks to reach the receiver, now emails or text messages arrive at the recipient within seconds. Whereas actors and actresses had to undergo thorough training before they could apply for a role, they now become famous overnight in casting shows. These observations lead to false conclusions and create the impression that success may come without effort.
But, generally, reality looks different, and therefore, you should:
- remain realistic concerning your aims and results
- plan for the long-term instead of wanting to quickly see successful results
- consciously allow the time necessary for change
- do not try to gain anything under pressure
- do not make your life quality dependent on results you wish for
- accept that improvement takes time or will not be achieved at all
How you can shed your impatience
It is an important step to learn to distinguish between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Needless to say, this needs honest self-reflection or external help. As long as you chase excessive expectations, which can never be realized or fulfilled, you are wasting your energy.
The present school system still involves judgement according to achievement. However, try not to measure your progress and results with other people’s achievements. You are an individual person, with your individual strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, it does not make sense to measure yourself against others.
Appreciate partial successes!
Are you impatient because you only have your final aim in mind? Then you should remember that it often takes a few intermediate steps to reach your aim. The problem is that the intermediate steps and partial successes are often not appreciated. Therefore, always remember that the path to your goal is an important part of achieving it.
Shortcuts sometimes seem to be the solution when you impatiently hop from one foot to the other. But shortcuts are often connected with a loss of quality. Therefore, ponder carefully whether they only bring an advantage in time, or whether it is better to invest patience for the sake of quality.
Do not be drawn to hasty or wrong actions!
And if you belong to the impulsive group, you have surely experienced acting hastily and wrongly due to impatience and frustration. Confucius said that he who has no patience in the small things, will fail the bigger plan.
There are probably areas in your life where it is absolutely clear that they need time and leisure for their development. But there are definitely also circumstances in life where you wish something might happen immediately. Therefore, look at these areas very consciously, and try to make the best, by learning to practise your patience.
Stuck in the Past
Are you someone who is physically in the present, but your mind is still in the past? It is very hard, if not impossible, to discover and live your potential in this position!
You feel torn inside, wasting your resources on people and situations that have a completely different, or possibly, no role in the present.
Maybe you want to take a few minutes to reflect on the following questions:
What makes you stuck in the past?
- Do you not get old, burdening situations, failures or wrong decisions out of your mind?
- Do you regret missed chances and opportunities?
- Are you incapable of forgiving yourself for something in the past?
- Are you scared your best days may have gone?
- Would you like to turn back the clock to take another direction at a crossroads in your life?
- Is the future a major cause of concern to you?
How you can mentally bow out of the past
- Take time to consciously think about something from the past that you cannot get out of your mind. Take regular time for this, for example 20 minutes in the evening. When the time has elapsed, deliberately turn your thoughts to something totally different. You will probably be able to stop, or at least control your thoughts from going round in circles.
- Replace your thoughts about the past by consciously choosing positive plans. If you, for instance, continue to dwell on past quarrels or arguments, then firmly say to yourself “STOP!” then think of something beautiful, such as a holiday, a celebration, or a relaxing day.
- Imagine your future in the best possible way, plan the first steps, and start realizing them. This gives you no more time to think about the past.
How you make peace with the past
- Learn to recognize facts from feelings! Emotions can be agonizing, take much space, suck energies, and often do not have anything to do with reality. Sometimes you might be carried away by fantasy. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.
- Appreciate the experiences you have made in difficult situations in the past. Totally accept them. It is no use struggling with the past, so therefore, learn your lessons gratefully.
- Change your view of the past! If this is hard for you, imagine yourself as a neutral observer, and realize that it is mainly your emotions that do not let you rest. Try to pay attention to the facts, not the feelings, that connect you with the event in the past.
- Allow yourself to enjoy the present and look ahead. Even if you have lost someone very close to you, and must now live without them, it is important to learn to enjoy your life to the full again.
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