Existential Psychology

Patience And Impatience

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Impatience is unpleasant. It’s that fidgety frustration, that chomping at the bit where you’re ready to go but for whatever reason the gates haven’t opened up yet and there’s little you can do about it. But a state of readiness is important when you’re trying to accomplish something, you have to be looking forward to see the goal in front of you.

The real difference is that impatience is lost in the future, basically ignoring the present or at least devaluing it, while the mindful, patient readiness we are talking about keeps your feet planted firmly in the here and now. You look towards a goal but remind yourself that in this moment you’re exactly where you need to be.

In this sense cultivating patience doesn’t have to mean forgetting about your goals and aspirations, but rather realizing that they’re going to take time. Anyway, the surest way to achieve your goals is mindfully going about your self-actualization in the present tense, doing the very best you can in the here and now, focusing all of your energy and attention on what you’re doing.

The greatest benefit from the attitude, the cultivation of patience while existing fully in the here and now, is that you get to enjoy your life while it happens to you, to appreciate all the wonders around you, instead of disparaging your life, constantly comparing your present unfavorably to a conception you have in your head of how things will be when you have accomplished what you set out to do.

You might just end up living your entire life waiting for the next thing to happen, constantly unhappy with where you actually are. Remind yourself that right now is good enough, that anything worthwhile takes a lot of time and a lot of effort, but all that time and effort can be enjoyable and fulfilling too. You don’t have to wait for the payoff to start enjoying all that your life has to offer.