slow and steady http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/15903/all en-US And...Breathe: Become More Patient in 9 Easy Steps http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4367301705_8289b25fbd_z.jpg" alt="woman looking up" title="woman looking up" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Patience is a virtue, or so you&rsquo;ve heard. But if you&rsquo;re like me, you wonder how patience could benefit you, not just the people who seem to relentlessly and persistently demand patience while seemingly causing unnecessary delays in a fast-moving world.</p> <p>Eventually, though, you&rsquo;ll discover that <em>impatience</em> can thwart your otherwise deserving efforts, interfere with reaching your goals, and cause trouble. When exercised at the right times and in the right ways, patience can not only augment forward movement but also build respect for you and your decisions.</p> <p>Cultivating patience is easier than you may think, but it requires getting perspective in the heat of crises and frustration of everyday life. Here are steps I have taken to develop the sort of patience that is virtuous and pays off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and&nbsp;Goals:&nbsp;Don't Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a>)</p> <h3>Practicing Patience</h3> <p>The best way to cultivate patience is to practice patience. That is, pretend to have patience, and see what happens.</p> <p>The more you test acting patient in various scenarios, the better you become at discerning when patience is necessary for desired outcomes or when aggressive action is the right way to get things done, when being patient commands esteem or when agility wins favor, when being patient helps you to gain support or when quick decisiveness gets you noticed.</p> <h3>1. Make Progress Toward Your Goal</h3> <p>Don't mistake patience with tolerance for inaction. True patience is working while you wait. This process should involve regular evaluation of whether the tasks you are doing or waiting for someone else to complete are going to deliver the results you want.</p> <h3>2. Realize That Setbacks Can Move You Closer to Your Goal</h3> <p>Setbacks are frustrating and can lead you to lose patience, not acquire it. Very often, though, mistakes you make, rejections you receive, confusion that arises, and support you don't win gives you insights that help move you closer to whatever outcome you desire. Setbacks, then, are not simply delays. They are signposts that can guide you to your destination.</p> <p>When things don&rsquo;t happen or unfold as planned, consider what happened. Figure out if you misread a situation, overestimated the strength of a supporter, needed more information, etc. Revise your approach and keep moving.</p> <h3>3. Get a Handle on a Typical Wait Time</h3> <p>To become patient, you should have a general idea of how long things should take. For example, there are commonly accepted timeframes from request to response for many situations, such as a marriage proposal (immediate), thank-you letter for a new job (1-3 days), or a prototype request (a week or longer).</p> <p>Your expectations should have some basis in reality. Ask friends and experts to figure out what is considered reasonable for a waiting period.</p> <h3>4. Decide If You Really Want to Wait</h3> <p>Figure out whether you are willing to wait for whatever time is required. If &quot;yes,&quot; wait patiently with the understanding that the timeline may be longer than you had anticipated. Re-evaluate your decision to be patient if things are not moving along at a reasonable pace.</p> <p>If you are not willing to wait but want to try a plan B, remember that you may still not get what you want when you want it. Plus, you may find that quality standards may be lower and prices could be higher if you choose the fastest possible method, with notable exceptions like instant downloads and express delivery.</p> <p>Or you may abandon a particular goal or desire altogether if the wait is too long. There is no shame in not being patient and waiting for something that you later realize you don't really want.</p> <h3>5. Take Time to Process New Information</h3> <p>When confronted with a new challenge, an unfamiliar scenario, or an unclear assignment, take your time to devise a well-conceived plan. Such planning typically involves researching an opportunity, learning what others have done in similar situations, and determining what&rsquo;s novel about your challenge. It also requires investing significant amounts of time to absorb information, process new ideas, and, finally, connect the dots to craft a breakthrough solution.</p> <p>Remember that rushing doesn&rsquo;t help. Impulsiveness causes you to move along too quickly, later making you hesitate at critical points that require swift action and making you uncertain when decisiveness is needed. Be patient with yourself as you learn, absorb, adapt, strategize, plan, and execute.</p> <h3>6. Learn How Being Rushed Can Threaten Success</h3> <p>Notice how moving too fast can compromise success of an endeavor. While many people (claim to) work well under pressure, most need sufficient time to get things done right. That often means that you must patiently wait for your turn or allot plenty of time for whatever you are trying to accomplish.</p> <p>For example, acting too quickly may mean that&nbsp;you don&rsquo;t take the time to...</p> <ul> <li>Research home prices or review home inspection reports before snapping up a new property listing that you later learn is overpriced.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Compare benefit packages and corporate cultures associated with two different job offers before accepting one that isn&rsquo;t a good fit with your work style and personal needs.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Teach a new skill or technique to a friend, coworker, or child, taking shortcuts that lead to mistakes and long-term learning problems.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Get to know someone before taking significant steps toward a long-term relationship, preventing you from laying a foundation of mutual trust.</li> </ul> <h3>7. Look for the Right Moment</h3> <p>Become aware of the right moment to bring up a sensitive issue with a friend or coworker. By refraining from an aggressive confrontation and waiting until the person comes to you for advice or the topic emerges as a concern, you may be able to more fully capture this person&rsquo;s attention and maintain a friendly relationship.</p> <p>When the time is right, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">weave your talking point into a conversation</a>. Perhaps your friend is confounded by his child or a coworker is frustrated with her boss. Get both attention and appreciation as you problem-solve, rather than challenging them before they are ready to listen.</p> <h3>8. Enjoy What&rsquo;s Happening Now</h3> <p>Learn to enjoy your present state, the time before your goals are realized and when there is still uncertainty about whether your efforts will reap benefits. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">Be grateful for what you have right now</a>, show pride in your accomplishments to date, revel in whatever you are learning and doing, and plan for rather than fret about the future.</p> <h3>9. Don&rsquo;t Worry What Other People Think</h3> <p>When you demonstrate patience, onlookers &mdash; including your friends, family members, bosses, coworkers, and customers &mdash; may think that you are not aggressive enough. They may wonder why you don&rsquo;t take immediate action, even as they complain about those who act too rashly, make quick decisions without considering all aspects of situation, etc.&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time, some people will consider you impatient simply because you insist on moving forward. But after you have cultivated this virtue, remember that you are the best judge of whether you are showing enough or too much patience.</p> <p>Just recently, I discovered that having the aura of patience can help speed things along. That is, a polite smile despite delays, willingness to wait, etc. encourages people to provide immediate help rather than sending you away to come back another day.</p> <p>The best thing about having patience, though, is being able to discern when to wait and when to act.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andbreathe-become-more-patient-in-9-easy-steps">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-stop-being-impatient-and-live-a-more-satisfied-life">10 Ways to Stop Being Impatient and Live a More Satisfied Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-make-a-big-life-change-heres-how">You Can Make a Big Life Change: Here&#039;s How</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-ways-to-make-a-big-financial-change">21 Ways to Make a Big Financial Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-a-hothead-10-things-patient-people-never-say">Are You a Hothead? 10 Things Patient People Never Say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-make-yourself-accountable">5 Ways to Make Yourself Accountable</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development acheiving goals patience slow and steady waiting Fri, 25 May 2012 10:36:08 +0000 Julie Rains 929323 at http://www.wisebread.com Slow and Steady Wins the Debt Race http://www.wisebread.com/slow-and-steady-wins-the-debt-race <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/slow-and-steady-wins-the-debt-race" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4680102985_9943b53fb2_z.jpg" alt="running marathon" title="running marathon" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="240" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I woke up to the reality of having $20,000 of credit card debt, I had to face this hard truth &mdash; I didn&rsquo;t get into debt overnight, so I&rsquo;m probably not going to get out of debt overnight.</p> <p>In fact, it took me four and a half years to pay off my debt. There were plenty of times throughout that journey when I wished there was some easy way to just wipe it all out.&nbsp;But there was no easy way. I don&rsquo;t recall ever considering bankruptcy. I racked up all that debt. I needed to pay it all off.</p> <p>So I did. Slowly. Month after month, I sent big checks to creditors, paying dearly for trips I had taken long ago and restaurant meals I no longer remembered.</p> <p>Today, with the perspective that time brings, and with lots of experience helping others struggling with debt, I honestly believe that the slow and steady way out of debt is the best way. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-start-fighting-debt-today">How to Start Fighting Debt &mdash; Today</a>)</p> <h2>The Danger of Fixing Symptoms</h2> <p>For many people buried under a mountain of debt, bankruptcy looks appealing. A quick way to end the pain.</p> <p>However, according to a paper published by the <a href="http://bdp.law.harvard.edu/papers.cfm">Bankruptcy Data Project</a>, a Harvard University-based research group that has studied bankruptcy for over twenty years, one year after filing for bankruptcy, one in four filers were struggling to pay routine bills, and one in three said their overall financial situation was similar to or worse than when they filed.</p> <p>Tossing your debt overboard may feel good for the moment. However, for many people, ditching debt without addressing the underlying causes often turns out to provide only short-term relief.</p> <h2>Lasting Changes Require Changes of the Heart</h2> <p>When I was blindly digging my way into debt, I saw buying stuff as the route to feeling good about myself. I bought things I couldn&rsquo;t afford in order to tell the world I <em>was</em> somebody.</p> <p>I also saw carrying a balance on credit cards as normal behavior. How else did most people get by?&nbsp;</p> <p>I probably could have learned some helpful new behaviors around money without changing these attitudes &mdash; how to use a budget, how to set up an emergency fund, and the like. But without a serious attitude adjustment, I doubt I would have been interested. Or, if I did start dabbling in new habits, they probably wouldn&rsquo;t have lasted very long.&nbsp;</p> <p>A psychiatrist friend tells me that attitudes and behaviors work in circular fashion to bring about change. Behavioral changes tend to alter our attitudes, and attitudinal changes tend to alter our behavior. However, they don&rsquo;t usually happen on the same schedule. While we may be able to force ourselves into some short-term behavioral changes, attitudinal changes take time. You can&rsquo;t just slap on a new conviction like cologne.</p> <h2>Getting on the Slow Track</h2> <p>To be sure, getting out of debt requires behavioral changes. You need to stop going any further into debt. You also need to gather the facts. How much debt do you have?&nbsp;Write it all down, and add it all up. Create a <a href="http://www.soundmindinvesting.com/visitors/res/resources.htm">cash flow plan</a> (AKA, a budget). Then start rolling a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-comprehensive-guide-to-the-debt-snowball-method-0">debt snowball</a>.</p> <p>However, getting and <em>staying </em>out of debt also requires the slower work of heart change. Start by taking a close look at your financial attitudes. Are there any ways of thinking that have contributed to your debt? Have you been buying things you can&rsquo;t afford in order to feel better about yourself, like I did?</p> <p>Acknowledging those attitudes is the first step toward changing them.</p> <p>One of the key attitudinal factors that helped me turn things around was accepting responsibility for my debts. The credit card companies didn&rsquo;t manipulate me into carrying balances on my cards.&nbsp;My parents didn&rsquo;t fail me in some way.&nbsp;</p> <p>It wasn&rsquo;t about beating myself up about my debts; it was about acknowledging the truth. I was responsible for my debts.</p> <p>To be sure, some people with debt problems have gotten into financial trouble by way of horrendous life circumstances. A divorce, an extended period of unemployment, catastrophic medical bills. I don&rsquo;t mean to be insensitive to any of that. But it&rsquo;s been my experience that when a person with debt owns their role in the debt &mdash; and most people with debt played at least <em>some</em> role &mdash; they have a far greater chance of getting and staying out of debt.</p> <p>If you have a lot of debt and you&rsquo;re just beginning the process of getting out from under, I&rsquo;m sure the idea that it may take several years doesn&rsquo;t sound the least bit appealing. However, I&rsquo;m thankful to have taken the long way out. It took time to change my money-related attitudes and cultivate some healthy financial habits. Since paying off the last of my debts some 15 years ago, I have carried no debt other than a reasonable mortgage.&nbsp;</p> <p>I firmly believe that taking the slow road was the key to making changes that have stuck.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/matt-bell">Matt Bell</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/slow-and-steady-wins-the-debt-race">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/john-cummuta-transforming-your-debt-into-his-wealth">John Cummuta: Transforming Your Debt Into His Wealth</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-debt-management-questions-youre-too-embarrassed-to-ask">5 Debt Management Questions You&#039;re Too Embarrassed to Ask</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-counseling-when-you-need-it-and-when-you-dont">Credit Counseling: When you Need it and When you Don&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-do-a-one-day-do-it-yourself-bankruptcy">How to Do a One-Day, Do-It-Yourself Bankruptcy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-debt-free-for-life">Book Review: Debt Free for Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Debt Management bankruptcy debt relief slow and steady Fri, 11 May 2012 10:36:11 +0000 Matt Bell 929129 at http://www.wisebread.com