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The other day someone on my timeline commented that they always get everything in life hence they are broke.

What that highlighted to me is that he is struggling with patience. And he is not alone.

In this modern age of instant gratification, it’s difficult to wait for something you want, isn’t it? We’re used to moving at a fast pace and having our needs met immediately.

Moving through a process of growth and development seems to take forever. We want to reach our goals NOW, not later. We want to be successful NOW, not later. We don’t care how we’ll feel LATER, we care about how we feel NOW!

Interestingly, we also want to be ‘rich’ right now, yet by giving into instant gratification, that is something that gets further and further delayed. So you find yourself in this vicious cycle, wanting to be well off, feeling it’s not happening fast enough, buying something to dull the feeling of having to wait, feeling bad because it caused a setback to your plans. Sound familiar?

Most worthwhile goals won’t happen overnight. They will take time, consistent effort and patience.

The important thing to understand about patience is that it’s all in your head. It’s only your perception of lack in this moment that keeps you feeling impatient!

Let me explain. When you feel impatient about getting something you want, you are focusing on the condition of lacking what you want. Lack is an uncomfortable feeling, so you feel a sense of urgency to eliminate it. You want to hurry and satisfy your need so the need will disappear.

But it’s not the lack that actually makes you feel uncomfortable – it’s the belief that you need “something” to make you feel whole and complete and happy. In this case, achieving your goals and becoming successful will make you feel happy, so you naturally want it to happen immediately.

Since it is virtually impossible to snap your fingers and change your circumstances just like that, I want to share with you three steps that helps easing your sense of lack:

Set reasonable expectations:

Your expectations can often get you in trouble by setting you up for disappointment. Even though you know it’s not likely that you’ll achieve your goals without investing some time and effort into the process, you still have a secret expectation that you’ll see results very quickly. When it doesn’t happen, you feel let down and angry. Don’t do that to yourself!

Instead, lower your expectations a bit. Rather than expecting overnight miracles, expect to keep making steady progress. Rather than expecting to transform yourself into a different person right away, expect to feel more and more confident each day.

If you pay more attention to the progress you’re making than the progress you’re NOT making, you’ll find yourself feeling much more positive and self-assured.

Celebrate small victories:

If you focus ONLY on the big goal at the finish line, you will miss out on many moments of joy and satisfaction between now and then.

Make a point of celebrating the small victories you achieve on a daily basis. Did you face a fear and take action anyway? Did you set aside time to work on your goals? Have you been working consistently on building a more positive outlook? Feel good about it! Allow yourself to feel a sense of accomplishment about even the smallest forward strides.

Enjoy the process:

Imagine taking a trip around the world and keeping your eyes closed the entire time. What would you miss? What would be the point of taking a trip like that in the first place if you didn’t bother to take in the beauty around you?

Yet, that’s exactly what many of us do when we take an inner journey. We keep our eyes squarely on our destination and miss out on the journey itself.

Instead, make an effort to enjoy the process of growth. Enjoy the sensation of growing more fully into the person you were meant to be. Enjoy every step you take and the final step of your journey will be that much sweeter.

Patience can serve you in many other ways too, but most importantly it can make your journey to success much more enjoyable. It’s worth the effort, don’t you think?

Share your tips in the comments.

  • I’ve found, as I get older, I’m less impressed with things. I get asked what I would like for birthday or Christmas and I can’t think of anything. I’m alive, I have a partner, 2 great kids, a gorgeous grandson, roof over my head and food in my cupboard. I want for nothing else

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  • don’t be so materialistic when it comes to the big important goals. you want to save for a house? make that the priority and it can be fun and motivating to make a wish list of things that i want to fill my house with. It doesn’t mean that i will have to go and buy everything i want now but it is fun to dream and plan

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  • Yup, delayed gratification is an important tool to teach ourselves and kids

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  • I have been following a couple of these tips and particularly agree with celebrating the small things and enjoying the process.

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  • As children and when we started work we were encouraged to save for what we wanted to buy. When we saved the money and bought what we wanted we felt we had achieved our goal. They only loan my parents had was the house mortgage. The only other thing they had before it was fully paid for was they bought my Grandma’s car. She was legally blind as a result of Glaucoma and developed Cancer. My younger brother was a baby when they bought it. Prior to that we caught the bus or tram. Dad rode his bicycle to work, then caught the bus when his knees got bad with arthritis.

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  • It is all about the journey.

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  • I always enjoy every journey and learn from every journey.

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  • Having everything you want without being broke often brings us back to the simple things that we do have and take for granted – like health (at least those bits of our bodies that are working at the moment even if we have pain etc.); good food; a roof over our heads, a soft bed, someone to call, a purpose to live, etc. simple things that we easily take for granted but which are things that are really everything we need.

    Reply

  • I am for setting goals and working towards them. And that often means sacrificing. But if you don’t lose track of the big picture, the time will come. And that will be the best reward. :-)

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  • I think it’s also about learning to realize that happiness doesn’t depend on having things, but on family, health and the small little things in life (like the sun shining, the birds in the sky, the flowers in the field, a smile).

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  • I think having realistic expectations and clear priorities s the trick.

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  • I think it’s less about patience and more about priorities. If you want something, you have to learn to forego something else because we don’t have an endless supply of time or money. We have to chose what’s important to us and accept that we cannot have it all.

    Reply

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