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How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

In this age of fast everything, many of us ambitious people are intensely hungry for success, money, growth, love, etc. We see somebody with a shiny toy, say, success in a certain area. And we want it too—now. This sentiment results from the illusion that we are in complete control over our lives. In reality, we are not.

The Illusion of Control

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    If we operate under the pretense that we are the ones in control, we encounter frustration, self-loathing, and general irritability. If we take 110% responsibility for life events, we see all negative circumstances as entirely our fault. That is a lie. We are in control about 89% of the time. Unexpected events happen. We cannot control the actions of others. This is not to say you should lean back and cede control. No. I believe in having direction, goals, and intentions. However, over-attachment to this mentality is detrimental to your success and your health. Patience is the acceptance of this fact and the willingness to trust outside forces to guide you in the most appropriate way. Patience is the openness to unpredictable events. Patience allows for relaxation and the enjoyment of each moment.

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    Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life

    Impatience is stressful. It ruins relationships. It devalues you as a an individual, and impedes your likelihood of success in any endeavor. Note that patience does not mean laziness. Patience is not the art of watching life go by. Patience is instead than intelligence on when to let go—when to surrender control. You can work as hard as you want, but expecting results yesterday will leave you with low self-esteem and a sour attitude. No one wants to be friends with a sourpuss. Impatience is the result of your inflated ego. Self-righteousness and a sense of entitlement lead to impatience. When you are in this space, you feel as if the world is underserving you by not presenting your desires on a silver platter.

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    How Do You Cultivate Patience?

    patience

      You cannot try to be more patient as you cannot try to lose weight. No, readers of Lifehack are smarter than that. We are high-value and high-functioning people. We do not simply “try” to accomplish things in life. We deliberately and systematically come up with a plan and method for execution. Below are concrete ways to cultivate patience:

      1. Learn how to breathe

      • When we get anxious and overly attached to outcomes, our breath immediately shortens. Oxygen that goes to our brains is reduced. We can’t think clearly.
      • When you notice yourself getting anxious and overly attached to end results, take a quick time out. Have the discipline to drop everything, sit still and breathe with ease. A few minutes should be enough.
      • Understand that even though you do largely determine your fate with your deliberate actions, goals, and productivity plans, you are not God and you cannot control every single event in life. Let it go. You’ll feel relieved.

      2. Love kindly. Give fully.

      • Love and impatience do not mix well. They are like water and oil.
      • Love is infinite in patience, eternal. There is no “end goal.”
      • Love is giving in nature. Impatience in love is selfish and narcissistic. Impatience in love is not actually love. It’s more like a self-serving desire to fulfill basic connection needs.
      • Love is understanding, forgiveness, and compassion. Love is a temporary detachment to the self and empathy with another. Impatience cannot exist in this realm.

      3. Take notes, analyze, and strategize.

      • Like any area you want to improve in your life, you must analyze where you right now. In which areas do you need more patience?
      • Write these areas down and star the most important area. If you were more patient in this area, how would that improve you life? Find your motivation.
      • Patience for its own sake isn’t very sexy. Find a motivating factor. Your health and emotional well-being might be a wise incentive.

      4. Excel at a new hobby.

      • Try something you’ve always wanted to try. Really make the effort to be good at it.
      • Now observe your learning curve. Do you see that the desire for immediate success is an impossible wish?
      • How can you apply these observations to other realms in your life?

      5. Get confident in your ability to achieve.

      • Impatience results from an uncertainty in your self-efficacy. When you are unsure of your ability to execute, you get impatient for outcomes. You want to prove to yourself that you are capable.
      • Convince yourself that the object of your desire is yours. You are completely capable of achieving whatever it is that you want.
      • The question is when you will achieve it, not if you will achieve it. And timing, you cannot control.
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      Last Updated on April 8, 2020

      11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

      11 Things Overachievers Do Differently

      We all know some overachievers: supermoms who manage to get online degrees between cleaning, cooking, and taking kids to practice; students who write 10-page papers when the directions call for 4; managers whose resumes look more like pages from the Guinness book of Records.

      How do they do it all? How is it possible that one person can graduate at the top of their class, found an orphanage in India, run 30k marathons, write a best-selling book, travel all over the world and learn to speak Mandarin Chinese while having a full-time job?

      What’s the secret of an overachiever? Here’re 11 things overachievers do differently that you can learn from.

      1. They Know How to Manage Their Time

      It’s pretty simple actually – you can never become an overachiever if you don’t know how to organize your time efficiently.

      The great thing is that overachievers are ready to share their knowledge and time management talent with the rest of the world. Read The 4-Hour Workweek or The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

      2. They Don’t Spend Hours Watching TV or Playing Computer Games

      Mostly because they have better things to do, like exercising, reading, spending an evening with their family or volunteering to work in the local soup kitchen. Their philosophy is simple – the world is full of wonderful things to try, explore and experience. Watching TV is not one of them.

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      3. They Are Obsessed With Perfection

      Imagine Steve Jobs’ work approach and you’ll understand the level of perfection and painfully high standards that overachievers set for themselves and those around them. Often it pays off (especially if they focus on just one domain). But sometimes compulsive over-striving turns into a sure-fire road to disappointments and unfinished tasks.

      Learn how to strike a balance: How Not to Let Perfectionism Secretly Screw You Up

      4. They Know How To Inspire

      Overachievers learn quickly that it is much easier to achieve goals through collaboration (and especially delegation). So they know how to inspire, encourage, persuade and motivate people around them. Even though they often drive their team crazy with their stubbornness and perfectionism, people quickly follow under the spell of their enthusiasm and greater vision.

      Learn these 10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively.

      5. They Set Clear Goals

      The term “overachiever” itself implies that they know how to achieve goals. That is kind of hard to do if your goals are vague, unclear and lack specific deadline, which is why overachievers educate themselves, read goal-setting books, and think about the best way to approach a new task.

      Although, it’s worth mentioning that overachievers usually use their time management and goal-setting skills towards competitive, “I want to kick butt” type of goals rather than self-improvement, mastery goals.

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      Take a look at these tips to help you set clearer goals: What Are SMART Goals (And How to Use Them to Become Successful)

      6. They Are Organized

      It’s hard to imagine a disorganized overachiever, isn’t it? Their great organizational and planning skills usually serve three main purposes: keeping track of time, keeping track of progress and keeping track of achievements.

      This hasn’t been confirmed by scientific research yet, but overachievers might actually get a “runner’s high” from crossing tasks off their to-do lists, and making new to-do lists.

      Here’s How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People

      7. They Try to Avoid Failure at All Costs

      Some psychologists believe that overachievers place their self-worth on their competence, driven by an underlying fear of failure. Rather than setting and striving for goals based on a pure desire to achieve, their core motivation becomes avoiding failure. This may explain the fact that overachiever beat themselves up for even little setbacks and seemingly-insignificant mistakes.

      But be aware that having a strong fear of failure can wrek havoc your productivity. So the best thing to do? Learn to conquer the fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It)

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      8. They Love Awards

      Who doesn’t love them, right? True enough, but unlike most people who like to feel acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts, overachievers are bent on collecting ‘awards’, be it university degrees, spelling bee prizes or unusual destinations.

      While loving awares isn’t bad, it’s even better if you’re driven by internal motivation instead of external ones which could be quite uncontrolable or unstable: Why Is Internal Motivation So Powerful (And How to Find It).

      9. They Don’t Understand the Concept of Work Hours

      Don’t get surprised if you receive a work-related email anywhere between 8 p.m. and midnight. It’s something overachievers usually do and you weren’t the only one. At least 20 more emails have been sent during these hours to other people. The concepts of over-achieving and working overtime usually go hand in hand.

      The downside of this is an imbalnced life, which may need to problems in other aspects of life including health and relationships. A better way is to Achieve a Realistic Work Life Balance.

      10. They Rest

      Overachievers might often be labeled as “workaholics”, because they often ignore bodily signs of hunger, fatigue and even a full bladder, hoping to finish just one last little part. This doesn’t mean that overachievers don’t know how to disconnect and relax.

      True that they tend to work in the highest gear, but they also have enough sense to give themselves time to rest and recharge. Of course, they do it in their own overachieving way, preferring climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or hiking through the Amazon jungle to lazing on the beach.

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      11. Overachievers Continuously Educate Themselves

      A great quality that most overachievers have is the hunger for knowledge. They surround themselves with bright people. They know how to listen, and most importantly, they get tons of mentoring.

      Despite the fact that overachievers want to excel at everything they set their minds on, they are humble enough to admit that to get on top of their game, they need help. And they are willing to pay someone to push, coach and guide them.

      You too can learn How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You.

      More Tips to Help You Achieve Success

      Featured photo credit: Nghia Le via unsplash.com

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