I have been there and the feeling is unnerving; it quickly turns into anger which eventually flows to the surface as rage. You know what I’m describing here? Impatience. They say that patience is a virtue; they also say that your attention span has shrunk from twelve seconds to eight seconds; apparently a second shorter than a gold fish – yikes! Do you see the correlation between this very short attention span and the growing rate of impatient people? If the human brain can now only hold coherent thoughts for eight seconds, then there isn’t much cognitive processing going on long enough for you to think – really think through a situation so you act irrationally. What if you could learn a few practical tips that would help you cultivate a habit of self-control so that your impatient thoughts never see the light of day? OK here we go…keep reading:
When travelling: like most people, you may be travelling to visit family and friends this holiday.
First allow ample travel time from your point of origin to your destination. When you are late or feel rushed, your circuits are short…really shorter than your attention span.
Before you begin your journey, accept that you will encounter drivers who aren’t as polite as you are (you are polite when driving right?) Accepting this fact is the first step to maintaining your cool when you are cut off, you find yourself stuck behind a slow moving vehicle or in heavy traffic.
Next keep safety at the forefront of your mind – you must arrive at your destination in ‘one peace’ so does the next driver. This means think of others…and yourself when travelling; stepping on the gas a little harder should not be worth more than your life.
Finally, enjoy the travel experience. Take in the sights and sounds – listen to some music, let down your windows, sing along with passengers. Remember your goal for the travel is to get to your destination in ‘one peace’.
2. When shopping: like most people, you may be hitting the malls and shops this holiday to buy gifts, window shop or simply go about your business.
First be aware that you are uniquely created and there is no other person who behaves the same way you do. The malls and shops are filled with different people from all walks of life including you, be consciously aware of this fact before you step into the malls and stores.
Then check your attitude at your door. If you leave the house in a funky mood, you will be in a funky mood when shopping and will return home in a funkier mood than when you left.
As you drive to the malls and stores and park your car, remember tip #1 above
Since you are now aware that the place is filled with different people, this also means different moods, temperaments, personalities, etc; let the warmth of your heart be evident to all. Use your magic words and body language ‘please’, ‘excuse me please’, ‘thank you’, ‘sorry’, smile, hold the door, make way.
3. When spending time with family and friends: like most people, you may be with loved ones this holiday chatting, laughing, making memories.
First accept that ‘this is my family’ and/or ‘these are my friends’. By acknowledging this to yourself, you become fully aware that no relationship is perfect.
Listen more than you speak; seek to understand rather than being understood.
Realize that you aren’t there to change them; keep your unsolicited advice to yourself.
Enjoy being with your loved ones just the way they are. Remember while you are busy stewing over petty issues, life is just passing by and lasts but for a moment; be in the moment.
Every tip here, comes down to one thing – positive mindset. If you prepare and focus your mind on positive things, you can utilize your eight seconds of attention span recording valuable memories instead of escaping them.
Have a Merry Christmas, be safe and practice self-control which leads to a high level of patience and low blood pressure.