The Howells Group Blog

Practicing Patience in A Hurry Up World

Maya Angelou Quote patience

There’s something about airports that reveal my “growth opportunies”. Last week flying home from Wyoming would’ve been funny if I hadn’t been so frustrated. I’d been away from home for a week and you know how it feels; it is past time to be home and more than anything you just want to get there. First my flight was delayed, then the agent automatically rerouted me via Denver via LA, meaning my arrival time would be past midnight. Once I discovered this, I nearly pleaded with another agent to find another option. He recommended I be rerouted through SFO so I could make my connecting flight. It took 4 trips across the airport to make sure that would happen, and the attendant I spoke with barely spoke English and had a heavy accent, as well as braces. I hated to, but I had to keep asking him to repeat what he said. Frustrating; especially when you are in a hurry. The confusion continued, because once I arrived in SFO the original connecting flight was there and I was able to make it because the gate agent had failed to take into account the 1 hour time change from Mountain to Pacific time! (Sigh) All seemed well until I arrived home and no one had a clue where my luggage was, until a couple of days later they discovered it had been sent to Denver. Their answer to my questions about my luggage’s whereabouts , “well it seems no one scanned it so we have no idea where it is”. Wow. Really? The joy of modern airline travel.

Things should, in a perfect world, run much smoother. But often life just doesn’t. On reflection, all ended just fine. Nothing stolen, no missed meeting and certainly no near death experiences. So – why was I so impatient. Character flaw? Probably. But for sure, it’s about my attachment to expectations. I plan in my mind for how I want things to go. Or how I think things should go. Then they don’t. This is a hard wired mindset for many of us. Even after raising two children, surviving breast cancer and a plethora of other patience stretching life experiences I STILL get set on expectations. That’s the key here – knowing that an expectation is simply that; something you expect that may or may not happen. Holding it loosely and remembering that when life shifts can really help.

Recently a client who was struggling with a new hire was about to bail and say “this just won’t work; I’m done. Instead, a better solution which included the “practice of patience” was arrived at. At my client’s request, they took a 3 hour walk and talked and talked some more. Though the outcome wasn’t perfect, it certainly shifted the situation towards the positive. Patiently sorting through potential approaches is almost always worth the time. Delaying taking action, especially when frustrated is almost always wise. Relationships, important business decisions and making healthy choices can hang in the balance of whether or not you and I practice patience.
So – my coaching to myself is to hold any expectations lightly, let go when they are not met and to keep the bigger picture in mind. Greater patience makes my life and those I interact with better. Remind me to write that on the next boarding pass I print out.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>