Regaining The Virtue Of Patience
April 18, 2020
When the weekend arrives, its time to go to the Supermarket for grocery shopping. This morning, I thought I would beat the lock-down rush hour by getting to the Supermarket early enough. Unfortunately, there was no early “no rush hour.” Even as I got to the place before the Supermarket opened, there was a big queue of people waiting to get in. Entry into the Supermarket was restricted and controlled, thanks to the social distance norms.
As I was waiting in the slow-moving queue, there was this monologue I was having in my head.
“Why can’t this line move faster.”
“Such a waste of time, going forward, Kavita should order groceries on the phone or online.”
Fifteen minutes turned to thirty, forty-five minutes, an hour, and I was still some distance from getting into the mall. I was edgy, impatient, and had nowhere to go. One red box to the other, I moved forward.
In this era of instant noodles, online shopping and instant gratification, the COVID lock-down has made me realize that patience is a mental faculty that is wearing thin, and I must resurrect it.
Patience is a mental state where I am comfortable with delayed gratification. When I am patient, I am comfortable waiting, not hustling at everything for quick results.
We can see patience or lack of it in the smallest of actions.
- I try waking up the laptop, and it is taking a minute or so for the applications to load, and I am frantically hitting the Enter key willing for the applications to get loaded. I am impatient.
- You are at a Lift wanting to go down. You press the down button, and the Lift is taking its time coming up. You become compulsive. You press the down button a few times more as if it will somehow move faster.
- We are waiting at a traffic junction where the countdown for the Red light to move to Green is happening. We don’t have the patience. We start pressing on the throttle as if we are competing in an F1 Race, looking to save those crucial few seconds. I wonder why?
- The plane lands, and it is taxiing toward the parking bay. I can’t wait. I get up to try and get to my hand baggage before others. Its the same at the baggage carousel. I am jostling to get to my luggage. I am in a race against time.
- I am in a work meeting. Someone is taking a few seconds more to explain a point of view. “Please come to the point I say,” I have a low attention span, but I rationalize by saying the other person has to be more efficient in communication.
I sense that we are now moving into a completely new territory where the traditional format of how interactions and transactions happen will completely change. Instant gratification will give way to delayed gratification.
I used to ask for a meeting, and it would get set up because everyone was working from a common location, and it was easy to coordinate calendars-Instant gratification. Now it will have to be organized based on the work from home schedules of the various participants. It will take more time—delayed gratification.
When I made a sales pitch, I could sense the client viewpoint immediately because I was face to face—instant gratification. Now, I will have to wait for some formal feedback since the sales pitch happened on a conference call—delayed gratification.
Earlier, everything was happening smoothly. So transactions and interactions yielded fast outcomes—instant gratification. Now everything is operating on contingency mode. Decision making across the board will become slower as everyone weighs the pros and cons more deliberately—delayed gratification.
The faster we come to terms with this new reality, the more peaceful we will be. Focus on doing the right things. Results may take time to go through. The universe is giving all of us a message. Slow down a little. There is no rush. Be Patient !!!