I’ve always been impatient. Impatient with everything. Generally impatient with most everyone, regardless of how placid and relaxed I might appear at times. This has been the toughest thing about trying to live, to be, in each moment. To be aware of the moments as they happen. To move away from always trying to anticipate the next moment, to stop rushing through the current moment. I find this challenging.
A number of times over my adult life I have worked on patience and I have made progress. In fact, I have made a lot of progress. Just not enough. I am still unsatisfied.
And the price of impatience is this. To be unsatisfied. Not disatisfied, just unsatisfied. To be dissatisfied is to be unhappy and discontent, to be unsatisfied is to be left wanting.
To be impatient is to not find satisfaction in the moment. You miss so much by anticipating moving to the next thing rather than appreciating the thing you are in. Too many times I have caught myself thinking about what’s next, rather than what is now. Not only do I miss what is happening now, I miss the opportunity of focus. Missing focus, or losing focus, impedes effectiveness; the effectiveness of learning and of doing. So of the many things that I have not learned to the level I wished, I can look back and see how little I focus I had. No wonder I was left unsatisfied with my learning so many times. It’s not that I didn’t know I lacked focus, it is that I didn’t understand why I lacked focus.
Of course, a lack of satisfaction is not necessarily a bad thing. A lack of satisfaction can drive one further, push one to accomplish more. To do more. To find excellence. These are good things. But, to miss the daily moments through inattention, to be unsatisfied with experiences for the simple fact you weren’t fully present, weren’t paying attention, that’s bad.
I have noticed that I was work on patience, as I learn to be more patient, I find moments of satisfaction that I think I would have missed otherwise. Satisfaction is found in the appreciation of the event. You are part of the experience, you have done your best, acted with the best information you have, and have been open and vulnerable to others. You have not spent the experience wondering what is next.
But restlessness. I’m developing greater capacity to sit still in quiet and just be. However, I am still a long way from where I wish to be. I’m restless, especially as the day goes on. I have learned to take breaks and just sit or to just walk and feel the city around me. The restlessness is a problem because it makes me anxious for the next thing instead of just letting the current thing be. Restlessness can be addressed with movement and good health habits, particularly adequate sleep and rest.
Perhaps this these observations don’t apply to most people. I may have been doing things wrong for too very long. In these moments now, I am trying to enhance my life and grab more enjoyment, more satisfaction, more life. I am convinced that a more patient approach will lead to this. Wherever you are on your path, I hope you are satisfied.
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