Perfecting Patience

Once again I was fortunate enough to fly to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  I stayed with a friend who took us fishing.  We did a lot of fishing.  We didn’t do a lot of catching.  It was tropical storm season and the rough waters and windy conditions sent the fish elsewhere.  So instead of catching enough dorado and tuna to fill our cooler (and eventually our bellies), we spent most of the time watching the waves, commenting on the desert mountains turned green with the storms, and pointing out the occasional whale.  It was a wonderful boat ride, very relaxing.  Think, however, if we need to catch fish to eat for that week.

When the outcome does not matter to us, it is very easy to be patient and go with the flow.  Nine hours on the water turned into a relaxing afternoon, not one of panic.  However when the outcome matters to us because we need it to survive, because it advances our career, because it means the health of a friend, because it means accomplishing a dream, so often our patience is lacking.

Without patience we become irritable, negative, anxious, angry, and sometimes lash out to blame others for the delay in receiving what we want.  The problem is that we are focused on what we want and not what we have.  As I often say it is the experience or the journey, not the destination where we find joy.  Imagine if you were to climb a mountain.  Is the joy found when you reach the summit?  Maybe some, however much of the joy is in overcoming the small challenges on your way up and enjoying each new vista you reach.

When you find yourself anxious, depressed, and impatient, stop, take a breath.  Take a moment to realize you are throwing away each and every moment as you stay focused on the results which have not yet come.  Immerse yourself in the moment.  It is truly the only one you have.  You may or may not receive the results you want.  You may achieve your goal tomorrow or in five years.  Twenty million things could happen, change, and affect you on your way to your goal.  Release the outcome.  Yes, focus on your desire and do not lose sight of it but don’t let it rule you.  Don’t let the goal become bigger than your enjoyment in the moment.

Focusing on the past brings regret.  Focusing on the future brings anxiety.  And focusing solely on our goals to the point it negates our current experience takes us out of our lives.  Live in the moment.  Bless what you have.  Enjoy what you are experiencing.  Know what you want and move toward it with patience and expectancy.

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