Three ways to developing patience

A young Japanese man wanted to learn martial art. He went to the best teacher of the time. Meeting the teacher he asked, “how long must I study in order to become the best in martial arts?” The teacher said a minimum of ten years. The young man thought it was too long. So he asked the teacher, “What if I studied twice as hard as everyone else? How long would it take then?” the teacher said, “twenty years.” Running out of patience, he asked again, “What if I worked day and night with all my effort, how long would it take then?” “Thirty years,” was the teacher’s response.

The young man got confused and asked, “ How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?” the teacher responded, “The answer is simple. With one eye focused on your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the way.”

I shared the above well-known story to expand on the profound response of the teacher that actually tells us why we don’t patiently pursue our dreams. We want to achieve results quickly and that dilutes the focus on efforts.

Patience is the ability to accept delays, obstacles or challenges without getting annoyed or disappointed and persevering with the effort to achieve the goals.

How can we develop patience?

Identify the situations which make you impatient
It could be anything like prayers not being answered, efforts not yielding the desired results, delays in flights, being stuck in a traffic jam, delay in food being served in a restaurant etc. Identify the situations in which you normally lose your patience.

Recall how you behaved in some of these situations
Reflect on your impatient behaviour in different situations. And, then think of the outcome of that behaviour. You might regret your instant reaction out of anger, frustration etc. This realization would prepare you to respond differently next time such a situation arises.

Anticipate delays and challenges
Things don’t always go as planned. There are unforeseen situations or some other facts that can cause delays and irritate you. It will be good to think ahead and plan for at least those factors that you can think of. For example, while learning a new skill, tell yourself repeatedly that everything is difficult before it is easy. For avoiding traffic jams, see if you can factor in some extra time in your schedule.

Patience is key to success. It is an attitude that we all must develop. Problems of life are like the red light on a traffic signal. If we wait, light becomes green. Let’s learn to wait.


9 Responses to Three ways to developing patience

  1. Vibha says:

    Such valuable guidance about patience. Doable tips. As Sant Kabir said, “Dheere dheere re mana, dheere sab kuch hoye
    Mali seenche soo ghara, ritu aaye phal hoye.” Slowly slowly O mind, everything in own pace happens. Gardner may water a hundred buckets, fruit arrives only in its season.
    I do not get your blogpost information in email anymore. I just happened to be on FB and got to read this.

    • Syed Mohammad Afsar says:

      So nice to hear from you, Vibha. Thank you for adding the beautiful perspective of Kabir. You may follow the blog again so that you get a mail every time I write something new. With warm regards

  2. Ali Ala Zaidi says:

    A very good article in this world of race against time and in the time of corporate aggression one needs to have a lot of patience to be able to survive and succeed in long turn as lack of it will lead to overall negative impact on personality.

  3. Very valuable insights and lucidly explained

  4. Dr Anurag Verma says:

    Patience is a virtue more observed in lack of it. It is more evident today than in earlier days. I would like to plant a seed and watch it grow knowing well that it will take certain time and there is nothing more one can do but wait it out for it to bloom. It teaches us endurance patience and humility because everything takes an optimum time to succeed. We have all prescription for cure . We need counsel to inculcate prevention.
    Healthy minds in a healthy body. But the material lifestyle is only seeking for body. We have to learn to wait for the red signal to turn green and then move on.
    Excellent thought, Afsar Sahab. People appreciate it but are unable to follow this simple rule of happiness in life.

  5. Masuma Jafri says:

    Wonderful and timely blog for me to read. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and that of others. Lovely story.

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