This week I am preparing my first Toastmasters speech about being ready “to receive the message” when the teacher arrives. Thirteen years ago one of the most profound teachers in my life arrived through a subscription to audio queue—a book on CD sharing company (Netflix for books, before Netflix). That teacher was Wayne Dyer and the lesson was your thoughts become things.
This lesson has come true for me in countless ways, which I will share with the Toastmasters audience. I was going to write more on this topic, but another message kept flying at me over and over again—until I wanted to scream “I get it.” The message was patience.
As we become used to things happening quickly with our smart phones, computers and all the other conveniences of daily life, waiting for anything feels like an eternity. We want results and we want them now. Paradoxically, the more we push for results and try to control the situation, the more complicated we make it. We make rash decisions, we grow frustrated and we put our bodies into fight or flight mode.
Yesterday all I wanted to do was make a video on my I-phone and upload it to you tube. This objective felt entirely possible to do in an afternoon. Until I started to get deeper into it, finding out that my I-phone has almost no available memory (because I was being cheap when I bought it). Knowing this, I took a deep breath, backed up all my photos & music, deleted 75% and then proceeded to record. The recording needed to be edited and uploaded, this required more memory—allowing me to keep 3 pictures and one song. After I edited the video, I had issues with you tube editing. Needless to say, there is no video.
Message received: if you push and don’t let a process naturally unfold it will become exponentially frustrating to the degree of your resistance. I was hell bent on getting that video done—I knew I didn’t have the right tools, but I was determined to make due. Thankfully, before I threw my phone out the window my husband came home and offered 3 solutions on how to make the process easier (all requiring PATIENCE). We chatted, I cooled down and we decided to go out to dinner and escape tech purgatory for a while.
Today I woke up bright eyed and ready to take on another tech project. I had learned my lesson of patience and I was moving in another direction. Excitedly I inserted my Yeti Big Blue Microphone into my computer’s USB drive and started recording. After several attempts I still had major recording gaps and occasionally buzzing—no fear—there are you tube training videos for this very reason. I then proceeded to watch about 7 of them and tried to execute all their strategies. All the effort was in vain, after I realized the only thing I could do was call the manufacturer, who confirmed I had a faulty product.
Or was it in vain…perhaps it was the universe telling me to slow down and hear the message. You have time, you don’t need to have a deliverable for each hour of your life, it’s ok to just BE and learn along this journey.
Coincidentally, as of late, I have spoken to many clients about their big goals and low levels of patience. I haven’t been certain how to coach them on remaining patient and giving the journey time (something I struggle with). With several lessons under my belt this week, I see that the universe was providing me teachers to be able to coach in this area:)–thanks universe!
As a gift from the universe, I present you this list of tactics to potentially use when you find yourself lacking patience. Use one of them in an area you have little patience for and see if it improves the situation.
Lessons in Patience
- Give yourself a window of time to complete the task, if it goes beyond that window—write down 3 follow ups you need to take when you pick it up next. Take 5 deep breaths and repeat the mantra “I can accomplish all through God or the Universe (whichever you choose).”
- Realize that all you have is NOW. You cannot accomplish more by thinking about what else needs to be done. You can either: be here NOW and do your best or you can live in the future, offering resistance to the NOW, further complicating the task.
- If you feel yourself starting to get frustrated or tense; do a 5 minute meditation, visualize yourself achieving the end goal of this task and feel what it is like to obtain that goal. Then write down exactly what it looked and felt like, stay with those feelings for at least 5 minutes.
There is always a moment, where you can stop, learn and trust. Find that moment the next time you feel impatience settling in and grow with the lesson.