The Habit of Patience

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“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt

Of all the resources we have in the world, everyone has the same amount of, time.

There have been many days where I was patient, just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. What took me a long time to realize is the opportunity does not materialize without effort from my part. There is no parting of the clouds, angels singing a chorus then suddenly, health, riches and loving friends descending upon me.

I was not making moves to form the proper habits.

Habit forming takes time.

To effectively change habits, I needed to change my mindset from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance. The scarcity mindset had me being very defensive about my moves, attempting to avoid risk and assuming if I “play by the rules” then I will be rewarded.

Nothing is further from the truth.

In this post I will discuss abundance and scarcity mindsets and how they play in getting started on a new project.

The Problem of the Immortality Mindset

We can easily put things off until tomorrow, thinking that we have a lot of tomorrows remaining. This is a dangerous habit to get into. We do not get an infinite number of tomorrows. Use them wisely. We are not immortal.

Here is a video where the days of a North American living an average lifetime have been broken down into a number of jelly beans, 23,835 beans by Ze Frank. How many do you have remaining to go after your goals and dreams?

My great grandmother lived just a few days shy of 107. At 102, who would you think would live longer? Me at my 20-odd years of age or my great grandmother? I would think I would, however if my life was ended in an accident then my great grandmother would have far more longevity than I, even at her advanced age.

Creating 5 or 10 year plans is highly variable. Events will occur that will change the plan that may or may not have been within our control.

Flip this around.

What can you do today that will make a difference in moving you towards your vision of success in 5 or 10 years? Think about who you are and what success looks like 5 years from now, then work backwards to the tasks you need to do, today, in order to achieve that success.

Have you ever thought that the diet can start, tomorrow. The new health routine can start, tomorrow? I have fell into this trap and the amount of time wasted is immense.

A part of falling into this trap is trying to over complicate things at the outset. Starting a new health routine does not need to be dependent on the following:

  • Getting a membership at the gym.
  • Purchasing new gym clothes.
  • Hiring a personal trainer.
  • Putting in 2 hour workouts 5 days a week.

Make it simpler. Do a set of 5 push ups, 3 times a day. It does not matter exactly when, just do the push ups. If you want to start running, just go out the door and go for a walk. Once you start walking, jogging for 1 minute becomes much easier to do.

If you had to select an employee for a management position, who would you choose?

  1. The person that has a library of management books and takes the time each day to study those books day by day to the point where they can recall the tools or conclusions of the books and mentor a project team?
  2. The person who has an “innate talent” and does not feel they need to practice their craft each day.

It does not take a lot to start today to build the future you want tomorrow.

The Impatient and Patient Framework

Being Patient and Impatient to achieve your goals requires a balance in the correct order.

The framework assumes that improvement towards some goal is the objective.

Patience (P)

When following a Patient mindset the individual will not take steps to start their improvement journey. They may feel that someone will come and gift them with an opportunity. They can spend years waiting for this opportunity to arrive.

Also, people who do not have a desire to improving towards a goal, fall within this quadrant.

Other people who fall into this category are the ones that feel they need validation

Impatience (I)

When following an Impatient mindset the individual take steps to start their improvement journey, however, if they meet with resistance then they stop and change to an activity that seems easier. They spend years switching between projects and do not achieve mastery.

Patient-Impatient (PI)

When following a Patient-Impatient mindset the individual waits for “the right time”. There is a a lot of up front planning. When they feel they are ready they start to execute on their plan only to find they did not need to spend that up front time.

Other people that fall into this category are ones that need to attend “one more training” or watch “one more instructional video”.

Impatient-Patient (IP)

When following an Impatient-Patient mindset the individual tries things aimed at moving them towards their ultimate goal. They may not have a full plan in place, but test their assumptions. When they encounter resistance then they take the time to find a way around the resistance.

Unlike PI people, IP will watch a training video then go out and apply the knowledge. If they make mistakes, they go back and re-assess through mentorship, training or education then attempt again.

Mastery and Abundance

When starting a new journey, there may be fear about the unexpected. It might not work, but that does not mean one should not try. Consider these points before beginning your journey to start something new:

1. Define your goals and be specific on what you want to achieve.

2. Deconstruct the skill into sub-skills that can be easily learned.

3. Focus on the most frequently used sub-skills.

4. Eliminating the barriers of practice.

5. Pre-commit to the first 20 hours.

With enough practice you will start to gain mastery in your field of study. With that mastery you will find that your practice becomes progressively easier. As your practice becomes easier you will begin to see more and more opportunities to use your practice to bring value to others.

Use our lack of time on this Earth to become impatient and start working towards your project. Exercise patience to gain mastery. Once you have mastery then you start to find more abundance in life.

Notice those who have formed habits leading to abundance. They do not focus on fear but rather finding how to increase their mastery leading to further abundance.

What is something you can start today by taking on a small achievable task?

As for myself, I’m continually practicing on my IP. The journey is made easier by finding supportive (but Honest) mentors to help guide the journey.

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