In order to reach our goals, we have heard of many attributes that would lead to such a result: hard work, discipline, and determination, but the one attribute that finds itself the most silenced is patience. Yes, hard work, discipline, and determination will undoubtedly make us reach our final goal, but patience is the ruler of making the process satisfactory. That means that while we strive for certain things throughout our life, we maintain mental and emotional stability that will allow us to feel satisfied with ourselves every day of the journey. Unfortunately, Generation Z is found to be the most impatient generation of all time, growing up on instant gratification with direct answers and millions of choices in just one click. In the 21st century, the world is growing faster, technology is taking over, competition is higher – there seems to be no room for patience. But as much as this virtue has been ignored, in the peak of ignoring, it finds itself calling to be reapplied in our lives. Now that we have been struck by the pandemic, we have been forced into a most unexpected stop. The feelings of frustration to fulfill our goals in life, along with the constant bombardment of information lead our minds to find themselves overwhelmed. Under all this, impatience holds the basis of our inability to find control since we want the results at the instant: to be successful now, have the vaccine now, reach all our goals now…stuck in accumulative wistful longing. Once jailed in the thoughts of the future, robbing us to execute the best of the present. What is needed now of this generation during this pandemic in order to lead a healthy lifestyle and achieve your goals is patience.
Patience has proven to create have a very high beneficial effect on people’s mental health. “Evidence shows that patience is positively correlated with subjective well-being, positive coping, virtues, and thriving. Additionally, it found that patient people tend to experience less depression and negative emotions because they can cope better with upsetting or stressful situations. They also rate themselves as more mindful and feel more gratitude, more connection to mankind and to the universe, and a greater sense of abundance,” (Schnitker & Emmons, 2007). Despite all the benefits, how living in such a frantic world, so much busyness, speed, and competition are we to keep our cool? How are we to control the patterns of our thinking when everything outside us is crumbling? The ability to be patient is not the ability to endure something without blowing up but abandon the need to blow up and develop a direct appreciation of the present. The best way to embrace patience is through gratitude and mindfulness. Being able to appreciate the present moment with simply what we have and are able to do now has a way of liberating us of the grand burden that we put on ourselves when we keep on worrying about the future, what could happen, what happened, if you will fail, why you are not getting it the way you want. Our minds are designed to concentrate on one task at a time. “Based on over a half-century of cognitive science and more recent studies on multitasking, we know that multitaskers do less and miss information. Efficiency can drop by as much as 40%. Long-term memory suffers and creativity — a skill associated with keeping in mind multiple, less common, associations — is reduced.” When we start burdening our mind with new notifications, more work non-stop the mind is unable to execute well enough and therefore this habit leads to feeling unsatisfied. Therefore, one must be patient and consequently find balance in life by concentrating on one thing at a time: the present moment.
Those who are patient are able to hold a vision that understands the time requirements to achieve their goals, and therefore are able to design their days adapted into this vision in which they are able to architect a balance in their lives that respects mental stability and encourages gratefulness during the day. When we envision 24 hours in a day it may seem logical to insert all the possible work in there to get closer and faster to achieve our goal. Wrong. “Studies show we have a limited capacity for concentrating over extended time periods, and though we may not be practiced at recognizing the symptoms of fatigue, they unavoidably derail our work,” (Friedman, 2014). In other words, overworking will only achieve the opposite, it slows you down in the drowning of frustration and mental fatigue. Instead, you should know how to divide your time wisely. Patience is a source of wisdom that allows you to understand how you should be dividing your work in a balanced manner. Additionally, with this understanding, you develop self-talk that is fair, non-pressuring, and non-judgemental. Patience is the most honest virtue to the source of reality and that is the mere fact that it holds you self aware that you don’t expect yourself to accomplish that final goal in a day but instead knowing that little by little the things that are worth it are acquired. By the end of your day, this allows you to feel satisfied with yourself and go to sleep without punishing yourself for not having done more tasks.
Many argue that the encouragement of this sort of lifestyle is asking for resignation, to conform, to not strive for more. However, the evidence shows the complete opposite. A study done by Sarah Schitners found that “Patience does not lead to ill-being. In addition to predicting well-being, patience does not predict negative outcomes, nor is there evidence that ‘too much’ patience is maladaptive. Instead, data support Kierkegaard’s assertion that ‘patience is not resignation, passivity, or inaction; rather, it is the emergence of freedom within the domain where necessity rules’ (Harned, 1997, p. 101). Study 1 results show that patience and assertiveness are orthogonal, and Study 2 shows that patient people pursue goals with more effort than less patient people,” (Schnitker, 2012). We can conclude only that being patient is key to success. It is about time that the superficial and inaccurate definition of patience is corrected in which many imagine it as a habit of quitting or not giving full potential. On the other hand, it allows you to give it your best as it keeps you healthy and motivated. It must be understood that patience does not ask to lower your goals but your expectation to achieve everything in a day. Patience is the protector of your life’s perspective as it shows you reality and allows you to embrace it. Someone who is not able to wait to acquire results is the one most likely to quit the fastest. One that is able to go through that process with appreciation and understanding is the one that is most likely to get there while enjoying the process.
Patience can be called the most loyal friend to the maintenance of your mental and emotional stability when struck by hard times. One, it has proven to keep you positive driven, and self-satisfied as you are not burdening yourself all day with the worries of the future. Two, it allows you to appreciate the moment and be truly present. Finally, it allows you to persist towards achieving your goals without falling into constant frustration and doubt. For this past month, I have applied the attribute of patience by structuring my day in a way that is adapted into what I can truly accomplish in that day that will allow me to be productive, effective, and healthy and as my todo list looked shorter for a day than it did before I found that I was able to do everything that I planned to do and feel satisfied at the end of the day. I had been able to adapt my goals well into a timely reality. It is time that this generation right now stops for a moment and thinks about how they can adapt their goals into a structure that applies to the attribute of patience. Patience the most forgotten virtue, is the most needed now.