Patience is the Ability to Wait the Time it Takes - Grasshopper
Impatience is a conscious effort to speed up the timetable of the Universe. This activity is folly and extreme hubris wrapped together and brandished as a weapon – one that even windmills aren't afraid of.
There is an old Chinese concept called Wu Wei. As I wrote in my blog on November 20, 2007:
"Wu Wei comes from the Ancient Chinese Taoists. It literally means 'do not war.' Philosopher, Alan Watts noted that within the context of the writings, it probably had a deeper meaning which he characterized as 'do not force.' He likened it to putting a key into a resistant lock. He suggested that jiggling would be a better strategy than imposing your will on the lock, resulting in less broken keys."
Being at war with the Universe is a losing battle. Forcing something to happen rarely works and oftentimes has negative, residual effects.
Patience leads to trusting. Trusting is a sensation you can feel in your body. It's an unmistakable knowing that acts like an internal compass keeping you on course.
Impatience is a conversation in your head that is tantamount to saying that God isn't working fast enough. This conversation, when left unchecked, will distribute feelings throughout your body that will keep you immobilized.
The mark of a truly great bench player in sports is to keep themselves at the ready so they can perform when their number is called. Trust is keeping yourself at the ready – ready to act when an opportunity presents itself.
Forcing a situation involves an internal grinding of the mind. It creates unnecessary noise that keeps you from hearing the answer when it is presented. Knowing when to act is the result of patience and trust. Begin the practice of trusting yourself to recognize an opportune moment.
You don't have to start with the biggest thing on your list. Start small and build some successes with your patience and trust. Notice that there are two beneficial effects.
1. Less mind noise.
2. Faster fruition.
Reminds me of a story . . .
There was a young surgical intern assisting an experienced doctor in a heart operation. The older doctor explained to the aspiring surgeon that they only had 45 seconds in which to do one aspect of the procedure or the patient would most likely die. The young surgeon began to sweat. The wise old physician looked him in the eye and said, "We'll have plenty of time if we don't rush."
Patience will always get you there faster. Patience is the result of practicing Wu Wei. Once you train yourself to know what the feeling of forcing a situation feels like, you are in a better position to be patient and let it pass. After some practice in noticing your feelings, you'll also begin to recognize the feeling of trust and intuitively know when to act.
When patience and trust work together the windows of opportunity open with ease and breezes of fresh air enter your life.
All the best,
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