By Sunny Simon

Summers are special to kids. During my childhood, one of the joys of summer was buying ice cream from one of the many trucks driving down the street playing happy music. My mom always made me wait for the Good Humor Man. She believed in ice cream as opposed to popsicles. Perhaps mom figured ice cream contains some calcium. Additionally, the Good Humor man came after lunch. No doubt timing was a factor.
Moms are smart people. They teach impressive life lessons. There is a vital benefit in cultivating the art of waiting. Number one, waiting teaches patience. We live in a world that moves at breakneck speed. Not surprisingly, we develop an “instant” mentality. Sadly, our quest to expand our patience quotient may be going in reverse. The art of practicing patience requires focus.
If you are a cycling enthusiast you know that if you want to ride fast, you must first learn to ride slowly. The trick to developing a strong aerobic base is to begin by riding long and slow. Remind yourself of that fact when impatience starts to deter you from getting to the goal line. If your progress sometimes winds down to turtle speed, relax. Remember slow and steady often wins the race. Above all, resist the urge to skip steps or rush the process. Doing so can result in failure, which means starting all over again. You must ask yourself, if you do not have the time to do it right, when will you ever find the time to do it over?
A second significant benefit in patiently cooling our heels is it affords us the opportunity us to be selective. For example, I counsel clients on career issues. One of the goals we consistently keep at the forefront is finding the right job rather than taking the first offer that comes along. Would you turn down a promotion to make a lateral move? The answer in some cases is absolutely. Sound counterintuitive? Not if you take the time to carefully consider the situation. The lateral may put you on the fast track.
The next time you get feel you want instant everything, slow it down. Take a deep breath and remind yourself patience reduces stress levels, results in better decision making and promotes happiness. I can attest that waiting for The Good Humor man brought me pure bliss as I savored each bite of my strawberry shortcake bar.