Patience is a virtue

directionThey say that patience is a virtue, meaning that it is a good quality to have. Sadly it is one that I wasn’t naturally blessed with.

Most of my anxiety moments come from me wanting something to play out a certain way and having to deal with it when it doesn’t (which unfortunately is a reality of life).

But what I’m realising is that patience is not only a a great quality to have, it is also a key ingredient in achieving your goals and living the happy life you want.

You see, we live in this world where we want more and we want it now.  Somewhere along the line societies have come to believe that once we create a goal, we should be achieving it straight away, and when we take a good look at this theory, it actually seems quite ludicrous.

Whether you have a goal to get your child into a sleep routine, or you are trying to be calm, or you want to achieve financial security, take a holiday, or some much needed time out, there is always a period of time from when you set the goal, to when you achieve the goal.  This time in between, is where the patience comes in.

I believe, which I’m realising more and more, that patience is really understanding that there is that period between setting the goal and achieving the goal and knowing that that space in between is the most valuable part of having a goal.

It’s easy to get frustrated because we haven’t reached our goals yet, because our attention is only placed on having that picture of what we desire.  We often don’t see that every step within that space between wanting it and getting it IS us achieving the goal!!

Let’s use the example of getting our child into a sleep routine.  Let’s say you try a sleep technique and it doesn’t work.  You are one step closer to achieving the sleep routine because you now know one way that doesn’t work for your child and can move onto the next technique that might work.

What about obtaining financial security. The space in between wanting it and getting it, involves learning about saving and growing money, scaling back on spending, and the period of time it takes to actually increase your bank account.

Being calm and rational when dealing with your child’s behaviour requires a process of learning and practicing how to change your mindset when dealing with the challenges of motherhood before you get to the goal of being calm? (see The Happy Mum Handbook for more on how to do this)

Whenever your child is going through a challenging developmental phase, there is a period of time of learning and growing before they move out of this phase and onto the next one.  They physically have to grow connections in the brain that will enable them to think in a logical, moral way or able to physically achieve their goals of crawling, walking, talking etc.  Yet we often get frustrated with their behaviour because of what the challenge means for us, forgetting that there is that period of time involved before our children are capable of doing what we may expect them to already be able to do.

My point is that we tend to neglect that all important period of time before we get our goals (or our child reaches theirs).  We seem to think that just because we set them, then they need to come to fruition straight away, or within a short period of time, but there are several factors involved when achieving a goal and every single one of those steps that lead to the goal ARE you getting the goal.  Without each step, there would be no achievement.

These steps I’m talking about quite often involve experiences where we feel like we aren’t getting anywhere near the goal that we want, however these are valuable times that teach us what not to do and force us to try it another way.

I guess the point of this blog is to get you to start observing all of your experiences as valuable ones contributing to you getting what you want.  When you look at all of your experiences in this way, you are less likely to give up, because you tend to look at each experience being one step closer to the goal, rather than an indication that you are never going to get it.

Whatever you are striving for, be patient with the space in between setting and getting a goal, for this is the key ingredient for feeling great about your life and getting those things that you want to make your life comfortable and more enjoyable.