Where Is Your Impatience Placed?

By November 28, 2012Leadership

Here’s a test.

Write down the things that made you impatient during the past few weeks. What does your list contain? It may include:

  • Waiting in a checkout line
  • Waiting in traffic
  • Getting stuck behind a slow driver
  • Getting stuck in a project that doesn’t fit our career objectives

Impatience is usually combined with waiting or getting stuck. We don’t like it when things move slower than expected.

Now, think about the elements you were patient about. It may include career goals, life plans, or leadership aims.

It is an odd thing.

We can get extremely impatient when we cannot move a few miles down the road while we may wait a lifetime to achieve our purpose-filled goals. At times, our impatience and patience get misplaced. When we look at it in a simple two by two matrix, we gain some clarity.

Patience / Impatience Matrix

Dividing our patience and impatience between unimportant and important life and leadership activities delivers a better view for us to absorb. Let’s evaluate each quadrant.

  • Routine – There are unimportant activities we need to do. In terms of life direction, they are the functional things we do, and we do them with a patient everyday mindset.
  • Release – These are the frustration points that unexpectedly land in our path. We need to take a more mindful approach to resolve them, breathing in and letting the impatience flow from our thoughts and actions. We cannot let them trip us up and get us off track.
  • Pace – For some of our important activities, we get riled up. We need to remember to put one foot in front of another. It is about movement, not just motion. It is about consistency of work and effort to achieve our goals and purpose. Scurrying around tires us out; consistent action delivers better results.
  • Stride – Life is a balance. We cannot become too patient in achieving our life purpose, as life may just pass us by. For the important things in our life, we need to gain and maintain our stride.

Routine and release keep us balanced.

Routine solves little activities and issues.

Release moves us beyond what doesn’t matter.

Stride and pace go hand-in-hand.

Pace keeps us centered.

Stride keeps us moving forward.

We need to use our pace to keep our impatience in check. We also need to use our stride to keep our patience in check.

How do you keep your patience and impatience focused on the right things? Add your insights and thoughts below in the comments section.

Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz is one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business and highlighted as one of the Leaders to Watch in 2015 by the American Management Association. He also is the author of Activate Leadership: Aspen Truths to Empower Millennial Leaders. Jon serves as vice president of marketing at Corepoint Health. Outside of his professional life, Jon brings together a community to inspire Millennial leaders and close the gap between two generations of leaders.
Jon Mertz
Jon Mertz

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