I don’t have forever: The limits of patience

Patience is a wonderful thing.
What would we do without the ability to let things happen over time? The lack of patience is wanting to have everything right away, and very few good things happen immediately at the snap of the fingers.
In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to fall into the trap of escapism and bad habits, is looking for the quick fix.
I want to feel better immediately, so I will just grab whatever can help me.
So this is where drugs are very effective at immediately changing your state of mind.
And on the other hand, work is something that does not immediately reward.
It does take patience.
I mean, you do whole day’s work, you don’t get anything out of it, you might not get paid for a few more weeks.
Compared to playing a video game, you know, you could be having fun right now.
So to be able to make the choices of things that are useful long-term, we need to have patience.
And when it comes to any kind of changes for ourselves, we put in the work to improve our conditions, improve our mindset, but it takes a lot of time for real changes to happen in our lives.
So clearly, patience is a very powerful quality, and one that we could go on about.
But I’m sure everybody would agree that patience is good.
There could be disagreement about what counts as patience, and how far this should be taken.
But I also find it interesting to consider the other side, and the idea of the limits of patience.
How much patience is too much? Because patience is not infinite.
We don’t have an unlimited amount of time, so we can’t simply wait forever.
There’s not endless time to work with.
And having too much patience becomes waiting, becomes waiting for things that may never happen.
Because we are on a set clock.
We have a life clock.
There is a limitation to the lifespan, so ultimately that is our clock.
That is our limit.
That is the limit to our patience, is our entire lifespan.
Obviously, we cannot wait for something beyond the end of our lifespan.
So I think that if we are focused, don’t have too much clutter and distraction in our lives, and, you know, focus on a few core things and work at them, then we’ll have no problem working with this basic time limitation.
We can live with this lifespan.
There is enough time to do a lot of great things in this lifespan.
But it’s when things get filled up, when hours and days get loaded up and overloaded and filled up with questionable things that, suddenly, the 20-30,000 days, suddenly those set number of decades – of course, no guarantee that we get a full span at all, but we can set that upper limit of days and of years – and they start to fill up really fast if they’re filled with extra stuff.
If we just find the days disappearing, being filled with activities that seem to lead nowhere, then life suddenly starts to seem pretty short.
So it’s another little hidden benefit of simplification, I think, is just this opening up of our lives so that we have room to breathe and it actually feels like we have time.
Because being busy and cluttered just fills up all the time.
But, as patient as it is good to be, we still ultimately have this time frame to work with.
And I just find, every time I remind myself of this hard limit, of this span of time that I might have a chance to be alive, it really reminds me to think about what I’m filling that time with, and if it’s not what I really think is best, then it’s time to switch it up.

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