Cultivating Patience, Especially When Flying



In today’s fast-paced world, we’re all in a rush, and instant gratification is often the expected order of the day. But for those things that still don’t come instantaneously, the traditional virtues can be more useful than ever. One of them is patience, the mental state that allows human beings to weather setbacks and difficulties with grace and equanimity.

Though some people may be born with greater capacity for patience than others, for the most part it’s an attitude that’s learned over time. We learn it first from the relatives and teachers who raise us, then if we’re smart we continue to cultivate it in ourselves as we make our way in the world.

Of course, in today’s complex travel world, patience is especially, as they say, a virtue. Flying in particular is subject to all manner of unexpected developments and schedule changes, and in some situations patience and equanimity can make all the difference between a travel experience that in the face of unavoidable setbacks can still remain calm and one that becomes unnecessarily stressful.

With that in mind, here are some suggestion on how to cultivate patience:

  • Accepting that there are some situations in life that cannot be immediately changed because they’re beyond our control. In an organised system there are always procedures in place to solve problems, and these must be given a chance to play out, step by step.
  • Stop and take a moment to weigh the pros and cons of your attitude, to see if it’s really helping the situation at hand or not.
  • Always try to have your default position be a positive one. Yes, “the power of positive thinking” may be something of a cliché, but when you start out with a sour disposition, you’re setting yourself up for a negative outcome from the get-go.
  • Avoid letting your feelings get the best of you. Oftentimes that leads to poor decisions, sometimes made unthinkingly. Try to look at things from a rational point of view, and that will help fortify your patience level.
  • More specfically, the feeling you want to watch out for is anger. It’s natural to feel it if something has interrupted our plans. But if the interruption simply has to play itself out, holding onto that anger will only damage us and those around us, without resolving the situation. Not good.

You have the wisdom and the capacity to cultivate more patience, through techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and others which I’ll be discussing in upcoming posts and can be explored, of course, through an enormous amount of self-help literature out there. And doing so will help you succeed not just in getting through the occasional rough patches of travel, but in the journey through life itself, so full of its own rough patches. And that is a gift indeed



image mariag.