I’m not sure how many of you do this but something tells me it’s quite common. Whenever I talk to myself I tend to use a very harsh language. Why? I have no clue. Probably it’s because I have high expectations and whenever I do not deliver on something I believe I deserve this kind of speech. Of course, I would never talk that way to a friend. Why would I? It wouldn’t be of any use and I also know it’s stupid. Unfortunately it’s not that easy to change a well practiced habit. Could this though be related to patience?
I found a “workaround” to this habit which I want to share with you.
There was a time in my life when I open myself up to a total stranger, a very nice lady. I used to talk to her about everything. Whenever we met she always started the conversation with: How are you? How have you been? This is of course normal, but I have to explain the feeling this gave me and I might not be able to express it very well; the look in her eyes, her body language, her calm manner and patience made me answer with so much more than just an I’m fine. You couldn’t get away with that. She knew there was more and waited for me to spit it out. She was a pro at listening. Which made me share with her what was actually going on. All my anger. All my disappointments. What she did though, besides listening, was interrupting me to add a word from time to time.
This word has only 3 letters but it’s such an important word to me know. It changed the way I look at things. Every time I complained about not achieving something she looked at me and said, you didn’t achieve it yet. She kept on saying that until it got into my head.
Think about how the meaning of all these sentences changes if you add this word to the end:
- I don’t know how to play the piano
- I’m not a filmmaker
- I can’t speak Spanish yet
- I don’t know how to handle pressure
- I don’t have a partner
I believe many people as myself included, lack patience. We don’t want to wait for things. We want everything to happen fast. I want things to be easy, I want instant gratification and I don’t want to put up with all the struggle. I’m honest. Isn’t it easier to just complain about stuff? Yes, right? But what do we do on the long term. This won’t bring any value. Therefore I invite you to add this adverb to your conversations whenever you’re saying you didn’t reach a point and start focusing on what to do to achieve it. After all you didn’t achieve it yet but there is plenty of time. Right? Or are we in a hurry?
You are not there yet but trust me you will get there. And if you learn to be patient and try to enjoy the journey, focus on the steps you have to take to achieve it, you might not even feel that much the pain.
I’ll leave you with this thought and a powerful quote from the stoic, Marcus Aurelius: