Smartphones allow an immediate access to universal knowledge. What used to take hours, if not years of research at the end of the 1990ies, is now available in a few seconds. It’s obviously a great progress, but one of the side effects to the development of Internet and new technologies is that it makes us all impatient. This decline of patience goes along with stress arousal.

So, how can we (re)learn to be patient and avoid burn-out in this hyper connected world?

Causes of impatience

·         Life 2.0

New information technologies and habits made us intolerant to wait times, individually and collectively. We demand high-speed network and broadband connection, we value immediacy. We end up frustrated whenever our expectations for rapid results are not met. It is getting more and more difficult to accept that some things need time hence, we struggle at building relationships and long-term projects.

That being said, it’s important to understand what generates impatience internally. Smartphones and 5G are addictive because they satisfy our impulses and fill a void, but they are just tools.

·         Lack of trust

How can you be patient if you do not trust yourself, others and the Universe? Waiting feels like a waste of time if you do not believe you can make it happen eventually. Living in fear (of failure, death, betrayal…) puts so much pressure that you are going to want everything to be over with as soon as possible.

·         Resistance to injustice

Life can be rough and unfair but is that a valid excuse to give up on your dreams?

Some people have made great achievements against all odds before. Stephen Hawking kept giving conferences and writing books when being only capable of pronouncing 5 words per minute.

Acknowledging that your situation is difficult or that you have been unlucky is legitimate, but only perseverance can really make a difference when the going gets tough. Stay open to the possibility of improvement over time, no matter what.

Antidotes to impatience

·         Get some perspective

Keeping a sense of proportion helps moving forward in a more relaxed way. What’s the up side to the upheaval you are currently going through? Can time be on your side here?

·         Compassion

Patience and compassion work hand in hand. Compassion for yourself first, meaning avoiding perfectionism which makes life a constant struggle. Accepting your own weaknesses, other people’s weaknesses and even the weaknesses of the system you are living in, while keeping on acting towards your goals is the best way to stay hopeful, hence patient.

·         Self-care

Physical exercise and relaxation help calm down the impatient brain.

·         Slow down

It’s crucial to slow down, especially when it comes to important decisions. Choosing another temporality allows to view things from another perspective.

Become an attentive observer and you will enjoy a slower motion without being bored.

Being patient means not giving up, keeping the desire alive and enjoying the path. Just like when kids open one window of the Advent Calendar every day before Christmas. Developing patience allows to pay more attention to your true aspirations and be more respectful of people around you.

Nowadays, it requires to commit to connect a bit more to your inner self than to your phone.