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THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PATIENCE: WHY IT PAYS TO WAIT


Your mom has probably told you at some point in your childhood that patience is a virtue or something along those lines.


Well, annoyingly, as always, moms are right, and this is a piece of advice you should carry for life.


Whether you’re a 10-year-old completing a complex puzzle or a businessman building a portfolio for a new undertaking, patience will be your best friend.


So, let’s talk a little bit about what patience is and what makes it a key variable for your growth and success.



What Is Patience?


Patience is essentially your willingness to endure difficult or inconvenient circumstances.


It shows an ability to wait and not act out when faced with delay.


And we are not talking just about the usual situations like waiting for your food to be delivered.


You can also exercise patience in more significant cases, such as when learning a new skill or when looking for a new job.


So far, we’ve established what patience is, but let’s talk about why it is a crucial quality to have.



Impatience And Gratification


Let’s go back to the earlier example of food delivery.


Imagine a situation - you’ve come back from work hungry, but the only thing that would not take hours to cook is that half-eaten chocolate bar on the counter.


Regardless, you decide to order a healthy meal that would take 20 minutes to arrive.


Now, a patient person would choose to leave the chocolate bar aside and enjoy the food with a full appetite and maybe have the chocolate afterward.


Impatience, in this case, would be to have the chocolate before the full meal with the risk of a ruined appetite.


Cognitive psychology studies look at patience through the same lens - patient subjects tend to wait for a long-term reward instead of short-term gratification, or as in this case, the chocolate.



Patience And Success


Whether we are talking about something simple, or a major decision that would change your life, patience is usually the wiser approach.


Because it’s not just about setting a goal, you also need to follow it through.


And this is where patience comes in - being able to persevere through hardships, rejections, and setbacks will lead you to actually succeeding.


By being patient in your decisions, you will not only enhance your critical thinking skills but also have the opportunity to make mistakes and gain experience from them.


We have outlined the whats and whys, but let’s talk about the hows.



Overcoming Impatience


As we’ve already mentioned, in the case of success, it is important to recognize that it cannot happen overnight.


Sure, some people have had this luck, but let’s face it - most have worked long and hard to get to where they are.


Therefore, it is no surprise that, as found by studies, patience is a key trait in highly successful people.


Of course, when someone urges you to be patient, you don’t just magically sit down and feel calm until the awaited outcome.


Patience is something that requires discipline and self-control and, luckily, can be built.


Perhaps the most important step would be to recognize when you are being impatient.


If you notice signs of agitation or intolerance, it’s probably time to pause and reflect and recognize if these are all manifestations of your impatience.


Now that you know what you are feeling and why your next step should be to analyze the situation.


Instead of reacting impulsively, try to think of a solution - sometimes, a perspective shift can show you the missing link.


Think about prioritizing your goals - sometimes, we want to rush to the endpoint but don’t realize there are many steps in between.


Think of it as building a house - you need to make a plan, build foundations, frame, roof, add windows and doors, fit the interior, and only then is it completed.


All these steps are something that takes time and effort but being patient will only make the reward sweeter.


And, of course, don’t be afraid of mistakes; rather, think of them as lessons.


Mistakes and failures are all part of the process and are just as valuable of experience as success is.



Conclusion


We cannot highlight enough the importance of patience for your life and goals.


Learning how to stop and think about your pursuit will help you be more organized and be able to focus your energy on perfecting your goal.


Patience is by no means easy to practice, but once you master it, you will be able to endure the hardest of setbacks and realize your potential.


So, keep calm and carry on.

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