Patience is faith in the time something takes. Patience is faith in living in the present moment, without pushing or forcing anything to happen. Patience is accepting things as they are, but this requires some clarification.

Things are not the way you think things are. People are not who you think they are. You are not who you think you are. Your child is not who you think your child is.

Your thoughts give you a representation of reality, like photos. Your child is not your photo of your child. Your life is not your photo of a scene in your life. You are not your photo. This goes without saying. Yet, we don't live this way until we experience a most significant level of awakening.

Your emotional reactions occur in reaction to your mental representations of reality. When you feel angry or impatient with your child or your mate, you feel that way in response to something you are thinking or imagining about your child or your mate. When you feel impatient with any condition in your life, you feel that way in response to something you think or imagine about that condition.

Basically, an impatient reaction expresses a belief about reality. So your belief causes your impatience, not your child, your mate or your life. When you feel stressed out over how much time something or someone is taking, your belief makes you feel that way.

Believing is an activity. It is something that you do when you do it. You believe yourself into impatience. So the question is, "Does impatience pay?" How does it impact you? Since it is a condition that you give to yourself, it makes no sense to give it to yourself unless it proves constructive to do so.

The fact is that impatience hurts you physically. The stress of anxiety harms your physical organism. If you have a health problem and experience much impatience, your health problem worsens. If you are in the peak of health, feelings of impatience will cause or contribute to a deterioration of your health.

Impatience also hurts you emotionally. You can only experience so much impatience before the frustration of it makes you feel increasingly angry and depressed. Impatience also leads to a lowering of self-esteem, because your inability to make things happen more quickly brings about feelings of inadequacy.

Impatience hurts your relationships because it makes you short-tempered, irritable, and insensitive toward the feelings of others. It blocks your ability to relate compassionately with others. This causes them to distance themselves from you, to feel an urge to retaliate and rebel against you.

Impatience also hurts those to whom you expose your impatient feelings and attitude. If you spend much time with someone who expresses much impatience toward you, you quite likely lack self-confidence, which lowers your level of competence. Furthermore, since our feelings radiate to those around us, who then absorb some of what we feel, your impatience causes those around you to feel impatient, the stress of which imposes on them the same negative impact it has on you.

We have thus far established four important facts, then, about impatience. First, you cause yourself to feel impatient; more specifically, the beliefs that you accept cause you to feel impatient. Second, your impatience impacts you in a destructive way. Third, your impatience impacts your relationships in a destructive way. Fourth, your impatience destructively impacts those you feel impatient toward and around.

Impatient parents, then, undermine their children's ability to feel and to function as well as possible. In other words, a parent's impatience slows his child! Impatience slows down every process, because it lowers your level of functioning, and your level of functioning produces your results. The lower your level of functioning, the longer it takes to achieve the highest possible level of results.

You worsen whatever situation or relationship in which you feel impatient. To produce the highest level of results in any area as quickly as possible, relieve yourself of your impatience as quickly as possible. Replace patience with a calm, clear focus of your attention directed to the present moment. Patience, which means relaxing your struggle against time, provides you with the inner space to do this.

But as long as you believe that you feel impatient because of the pace of your child's action or the pace of life's delivery of your goals to you, patience remains beyond you. As long as you believe that routinely feeling impatience is helpful, necessary or responsible, you won't let it go. Another obstacle to freeing oneself from impatience is the unconsciousness of its presence. You can become so busy, so absorbed in the busy-ness of your life or your thoughts about your life that you don't even realize how impatient you feel. So let us address each one of these obstacles and see how to overcome them.

We have already addressed the first obstacle by making it clear that you cause yourself impatience by holding onto a belief that something needs to happen more quickly than it is happening. You believe your child should move more quickly and feel impatient with his pace. You believe that your mate should already understand you and become impatient with him when he doesn't seem to get what you want him to. You believe that you need to improve your financial situation more quickly than it changes and then feel impatient with that. In all these instances, you cause yourself your impatience by believing that your circumstances should transform faster than they appear to.

Some of us are not ready to give up the beliefs that make us feel impatient. We believe that we need to feel impatient, that there is no other responsible way to be. But we have addressed this obstacle as well by pointing out how counterproductive impatience is. Impatience harms your healthy and the health of those to whom you expose your impatience, particularly your children because of their heightened sensitivity and tenderness. Impatience causes you to function at a lower level, which hinders your ability to achieve the best results as quickly as you otherwise could have.

At some point you have to choose between your belief and your wellbeing. Focus your attention on how you feel in the present moment. The moment you feel impatience setting in, realize that you are doing this to yourself, you are making yourself feel this way, you are robbing this moment of the joy you could feel within it.

Patience equals joy. Patience means that you impose no pressure on yourself to function more quickly than you can in a peaceful, harmonious state. Patience frees you to feel the joy of life in the present moment. It frees your heart to open with compassion. It frees you to function in a healthy way and it frees others from the negative impact of your impatience. Patience is really the foundation of a healthy relationship.

When you feel impatient with another person, your relationship with that person has drifted into an unhealthy zone. This has nothing to do with that other person is doing. It has everything to do with how you are handling what that person is doing. Impatience is a negative, destructive habit, and you can free yourself from it, as long as you are willing to do it patiently.

The key to overcoming impatience is to overcome it patiently. Each time that you feel yourself growing impatient, don't fight against the feeling. Just allow it to be there. Try to avoid blaming your feeling on your situation or on any other person. When you feel impatient with your child, try to not blame your child for this feeling of yours. If you do feel resentment for your impatient reaction, patiently observe that feeling. Just look at your feeling. Be patient with it. Don't try to seize control of the situation or rid yourself of the feeling. Just let it be there as you sort of relax to its presence.

In this way, by being patiently aware of your feeling of impatience, you shift into patience. As your state of impatience softens or weakens through this practice, which it will, you will find your ability to release yourself from the impatience in a natural, unforced way. You will find that you can relax your body, let go of the idea that you need yourself, your situation, your child, your mate to hurry up, and simply be present without pressure in the moment.

A crucial practice for patience to expand into your life is the practice of being aware of how you feel in the present moment. This requires directing a portion of your awareness onto your present feeling state. Often we habitually overlook our feelings, so this demands some disciplined practice to develop. Notice how you feel right now. Do you notice any trace of impatience within you? The sooner you notice how you feel, the sooner you can make the necessary adjustments to feel at least somewhat better.

Entering patience means exiting the constraints of time. You live freely with your attention focused on your present experience, and you feel a sense of deep, harmonious connection with the present moment, with life. Patience is truly life-giving, because the joy of life it gives you nurtures you physically - it's good for you.

When you feel patient with your child's progress, you protect your child's healthy self-confidence and self-esteem. This translates into support for your child's developing competence. The child who feels secure about himself functions at a higher level than the child who feels insecure about himself, because nervousness breeds mistakes and ineptness. And yet, under the twisted spell of impatience, we react to our child in a way that is guaranteed to make the child more nervous, because we feel so nervous under our spell of impatience.

Author's Bio: 

Bob Lancer leads individuals, businesses, families, and associations to fulfill their greatest dreams. He does this through a wide variety of venues, including his WSB radio show, Bob Lancer's Parenting Solutions, a show that focuses as much on the raising of ourselves and of our society as on the raising of children. The show has been on the air since 1995 and broadcasts to 35 states over the radio, and worldwide over the internet.

He is the author of numerous books and he has created dozens of motivational recordings on his themes.

Bob Lancer transforms audiences through his dynamic keynotes and seminars on parenting, marriage, and personal and professional development at live events, including conferences around the nation and overseas. He has been leading his audiences to greater personal and professional success as a public speaker, seminar leader, consultant and author for over 20 years and his work has been featured on CNN and other network television stations, in national magazines and in major newspapers.