Patience – it’s something we all struggle with. In a world of instant gratification, we all want results, right now. But there’s definitely value in delaying gratification. Studies show that children who learn to resist having things straight away end up with more positive long-term outcomes, including higher intelligence, social responsibility and social competence.
One of the most important challenges we face in life is delaying gratification. The ability to either forgo immediate temptation or to persist in an undesirable activity, in order to reach a later goal, is a key component to success in many life tasks.
But should we be patient all the time? When should you be patient and when should you be impatient? It depends whether you are acting or waiting for things outside your control to happen. The rule is be impatient with actions but be patient with results. The reason is simple. We can’t influence things that are outside our control. And trying to push too hard for what you want can end up having the opposite effect of what you are seeking.
So spend time on the things that you can impact. Be impatient in acting and be patient when waiting for your actions to pay off.