Cultivating Core Mental Qualities For Happiness And Success – Patience

In this issue we look at cultivating the second core mental quality for happiness and success – PATIENCE.

What is meant by patience in this context is not simply being patient but more specifically being patient with the sensations of discomfort that we experience when an event arises which we don’t like. Without patience as defined here, we will, again and again, likely simply fail to notice our opportunity to practise with a new behaviour (or indeed skill).  We will miss the “exit sign” off the “autopilot highway, continuing down the same road, again and again, even thought it may be bumpy or not actually taking us where we really want to go!

Practice

See if you can catch yourself in moments of agitation. If you do, try the following:

Sit with the agitation, bringing your attention and curiosity to the body sensations.  Experiment with not following the impulse to react.  See what happens to the sensations. 

While exercising patience and curiosity, ask yourself “what is the most positive way I can see this situation?”  How might I be seeing this wrongly?

Relax, take a few deep breaths and experiment with simply allowing and “watching” any mental processes, as if as a witness. This is effectively “letting go”.  Allow whatever arises.

What happens?

What are you learning from this experience?

References

Ekman, P. (2007). Emotions revealed: Recognizing faces and feelings to improve communication and emotional life, Macmillan.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (2009). Wherever you go, there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life, Hachette UK.

Kegan, R. and L. L. Lahey (2009). Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock potential in yourself and your organization, Harvard Business Press.

Rock, D. and J. Schwartz (2006). “The neuroscience of leadership.”

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