The Case for Patience

The Case for Patience

All my life, I have been a person focused on accomplishment. On getting the things I want in this life. Whether that be the job of my dreams, or great relationships.

But I have been reading lately about patience. Certainly I’ve heard talk of patience before in my life. But I did not see it as a strength. I saw patience as giving up or being willing to wait or releasing my agency over my own life. I saw a patience as a way of saying, “well, I guess it will happen if it happens.”

I read a lot of books about mental, physical and spiritual health because it is important for me not just to be able to achieve things on the outside, but to be a whole and healthy person on the inside. As I read, I continue to encounter the concept of patience. One of my favorite authors is Pema Chodron. She is an American Buddhist nun, and she talks, among other things, about patience.

So I’ve been thinking about it; and here is what I’m realizing. The value of patience is the value of acceptance. It is the value of seeing what I am working with and not fighting reality. I am learning how that goes together with achieving what I want. I am learning how I can see what is true, accept and honor that, and also learn how to work with it to create something better. Patience helps me not fight reality.

I have also learned how important it is to be patient with myself. To recognize my human qualities and allow that sometimes I am tired or sad. That sometimes I fail. And to be kind to myself. To be patient with all that is human within me.

Ironically, what I’ve learned is that patience does not mean giving up, and it does not slow me down. To the contrary, it means that I can accept what is so within and without. And when I do that, I am actually far more effective in my life.

How do you feel about patience?

About the Author

Cami McLaren

Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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