Learning to Solve Problems through the Cultivation of Patience

Life is like a board game. Each time you roll the dice and advance forward you land on a new set of problems. In order to proceed to the next step (to a new batch of issues and concerns), you must first learn how to properly deal with what’s thrown at you so that you can progress in the most effective manner to ultimately excel at this game we call life.

It’s conclusive that humans want happiness, love and fulfillment (at least most of the time). Think of these as qualities that you can achieve for a lifetime, once you learn how to win at the board game of life.

The question is, how can you really reap the benefits of these attributes and harness them for as long as you’re on this planet? Or better yet, how can you learn to effectively solve problems in order to eternally access them?

Enter: Patience.

We always hear the saying “Patience is a virtue”, but do you ever stop to really soak in the meaning of the statement?

By definition, patience is “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

Through various books, I’ve discovered (which might come as totally obvious to some) that the key to a well-rounded life boils down to your level of patience.

If your patience tank is always on low, you’re most likely a person who gets upset and offended easily, jumping back and forth from positive emotion to negative emotion solely based on all the external factors that come into your existence. Simply put, you’re currently sitting in last place in the board game metaphor.

On the other hand, if you’ve got a full tank of patience you’re typically someone who is calm and composed, ready to take on anything that’s thrown at you with fortitude. In other words, you’re leading the way in the game of life.

Regardless of how much money you possess, your status personally amongst friends or professionally amongst colleagues, even how attractive you may be, if you lack patience you lack the true meaning and sense of what life is supposed to be about.

F the BS: It’s time to learn how to solve your problems by becoming more patient

Now that we know (or have known) that life is always going to throw obstacles at us, everyone can learn to add a few more drops of patience into their daily dose of life. So let’s drill down a few different ways to rewire our minds into gaining more of this one of a kind virtue.

-Slow down your thinking – This is one we’ve discussed in the past. If you can learn to live life on an even keel (through meditation, breathing, reflecting, etc) you’ll be able to control whatever comes at you with confidence and determination, preventing it from affecting your mental state of mind.

-Realize the impermanence of life itself – Life is short. Shit can pop off at any minute. Think about how unimportant whatever it is you’re about to let negatively affect you and realize how insignificant it is in the grand scheme of things.

-Avoid the issue entirely – Most problems experienced are recurring, if not on a daily basis, then enough times throughout life that one can learn to pinpoint them as they are about to occur or even better, right before they present themselves. Really think about this one, and the next time a dilemma is slowly creeping into your existence, take notice of it, stay calm, prevent your emotions from escalating (maybe even take a few deep breaths) and shoot it down with dignity.

-Be compassionate – If your potential problem involves someone else, try to put their feelings and point of view first. Is it really their fault? Even if it is, are they worth disturbing your immediate quality of life?

-Appreciate your dislikes – Most of the time problems and dislikes are interchangeable, but what if you took a new approach to your dislikes and looked at them in a positive light? Can you give them attention and focus and learn to appreciate them and maybe even be grateful for them as they are?

-Use a mantra(m) – Each time emotions are heightened, repeat a phrase or word inside of your head to distract you from the situation at hand until you have a clear mind to approach the problem in a calmer state.

To wrap things up…

It’s pretty simple. If you can acquire more of the skill called patience you can live a better quality of life.

Regardless if you’re completely blindsided by a problem or can prepare and anticipate one coming, the objective is to learn to not allow yourself to blow them out of proportion. Don’t let your emotions and moods be dictated by the external factors that make up your problems. 

The next time you’re presented with one of life’s challenges, try to be a little more patient and see what happens. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up winning at the game of life 🙂

“A man who is a master of patience is a master of everything else.” – George Savile