Patience Begins With A Choice

Updated: May 28, 2021

When it comes to patience, there are 2 groups of people that amaze me

- the really patient people, and the really impatient people. Patient people are like angels; and impatient people, well - I’ve been there, and they simply need to take a patience pill - if there would be such a thing.

When my children were growing up, I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t as patient as they would have liked. That time is past, and now I only have control over my present and future actions. I can choose to be more patient now with my children, my spouse, and anyone else. Maybe you’ve heard me share about the circle-of-control? It is about choices - the choice to be patient, and the choice to not be patient. I have control over me to make that choice; and you do too. I am not saying that it is easy. It’s taken most of 50+ years to become more patient.

Discovering patience has taught me that a little bit of effort toward a relationship is incredibly rewarding. If you are fortunate to have children or grandchildren, you may have recognized this. Grandchildren, like children, learn about relationships and patience, from the models they have in their life.

Modeling Patience

Kris & I have 2 granddaughters who are potty training and becoming more independent about washing their hands. Last week at Menards, we found a highly coveted Mickey Mouse step stool and a Mickey Mouse potty seat (not for us, silly, for the grandchildren) - you know, Menards has about everything. The girls were thrilled with our purchases, and wanted to immediately wash their hands. The first granddaughter (no names, to protect the guilty) had to get the step stool and place it in front of the sink. Unfortunately, she initially placed it on her foot. So when she took the first step onto the stool, the pressure kept her from bringing the other foot forward to take the next step. As an adult, most of us would realize what is wrong, long before we took the first step; but a 2 ½ year old - whined and struggled with what to do. She needed help to realize that she needed to step back and pull her foot out from under the step stool. Thirty years ago, I likely would have made a rude comment, or used a tone to imply a “not very smart” action. It’s really about patience. Patience and a choice. A choice to develop patience.

Then there’s the other end of life. If you have ever seen the Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore movie, 50 First Dates, maybe you remember 10-second Tom? If you are experiencing family that is getting older, then you may be getting the same question that you answered just a short while ago. Maybe not in 10-seconds, but possibly, repeated ten times within the day. What’s the answer? . . . patience.

Patience Pays

Recently, I was on a call with my favorite mentor, John Maxwell, teaching on the subject of patience. This month’s lesson was “Patience Pays.” I found great value in his words; and even had the opportunity to ask him a question.

I said, “Hi John, I am with the John Maxwell Team, and I am looking at the challenge of patience with people - especially when we are not on the same page. Is there a tip or trick that you use to help increase your focus and awareness on being patient, especially in the more challenging “people situations?”

John’s answer to me was, “Leaders see More and Before. That, in itself, leads to a Patience Problem. When the leader sees first, then must wait, that requires patience. That is what I (John) call EGR people - Extra Grace Required. There are 2 things to note:

  1. It is at this point that I think of those who have waited for me. How was I cared for when people waited for me?

  2. Remember, the reward for crossing the finish line, is not about doing it by yourself. It’s about bringing others with you.

This world could use a little more patience. And while I cannot change the world, I can change me. You can choose to change you. Together, let’s start a patience movement.

If you think it would be beneficial to have a chat with me or one of the other coaches from Leadership Harbor, then let’s get together for a complimentary discovery session. I look forward to it!

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