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The Role of Patience in Happiness.
Why is there no happiness without patience? Patience is important to happiness because is required to set and meet worthy goals.
"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want the most for what you want now. Zig Ziglar
Acting impulsively and with impatience will lead to unhappiness in the long run. If you are responding to the seeking of pleasure in the moment, or avoiding discomfort , it will be hard to ever have general happiness and overall contentment. In Buddhism, aversion and clinging are said to be the sources of our suffering. It turns out in happiness psychology, this is often the case too.
Perhaps you wake up and have set some goals to eat in a healthy way, or to go and exercise for a half hour. You look outside and it's cold and you think " I'm not going out there. It will be too uncomfortable and so I will go tomorrow." What happened? You avoided discomfort at the cost of the goal that you set. Patience and persistence are required to stick to and meet goals.
In the example above, your day may get increasingly stressful. A colleague may offer you a chocolate chip cookie. You think of how you have liked those cookies before, and how good it will taste, and so you eat one. However, it's so good that you want more, and you begin to think about having another one before you have even finished the first. By the time the day is over you have eaten ten cookies. There is no happiness without patience because it is required to cope with discomfort and craving that get in the way of meeting goals.
The truth here is that at the end of the day you haven't lived your life in a way that will produce happiness. What you have done is responded to the things that you wanted or didn't want in the moment. At the end of the day will you feel happy that you avoided the exercise, or ate the cookies?
There is no happiness without patience. Each day when you look at the things that you need to do to be happy , it requires faith that you know what it is that makes you happy, and the patience and commitment to following through with doing the things that will lead to long term happiness.
There is no happiness without patience because patience is also required to assess and evaluate what is important to you. This is an ongoing process. It is helpful to sit down and think about what really brings you happiness in your life.
Many people who have near death experiences, or who have a terminal illness, suddenly become crystal clear on what the things are that bring them happiness. Interestingly enough, you can learn from these experiences without having them. Assessing what is important to you requires patience because we will often trick ourselves into thinking things are important that are actually not, and that are not producing happiness even though we think it will.
After you assess what is important to you, you need to be open to feed back so you can learn where you have been wrong, and where you are still wrong. This requires attention and questions of yourself on a regular basis.
Is this bringing me happiness or not? It's important to remember that the question isn't asked in the moment of pleasure or discomfort but after you have been working on a goal consistently for a while.
Learn all about happiness in these other pages here:
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This page is about how self-compassion and mindfulness and skills such as forgiveness, kindness and compassion can help us with depression and anxiety.