I am not a patient person by nature. I used to fidget and whine if I had to wait even twenty minutes for something—even when I was 12 years old. Maybe that seems normal, but it caused me a lot of frustration. It was difficult to get any large-scale projects done. Anything that took more than a few hours was outright not going to happen unless it was school-related. I also had a bad habit of talking before I thought about what I was saying. Needless to say, that also caused me a fair amount of distress in the form of social blunders. Ideally, I wanted to be a careful person who always said the right thing, or at least took a moment to think about it! So I set about trying to become that person.
Patience and concentration are a lot like muscles. You can’t expect to do a lot of heavy lifting right away, and you aren’t going to be a very patient person overnight. Concentration is the same. You can also tire out your mental muscles if you use them too often. So what do you do? You practice.
I picked a few activities that required some patience and concentration and set about doing a little when I had free time. Painting miniatures caused me nothing but pain until I was in my late teens—my hands were too shaky before then and it took more focus than I could muster. Many handicrafts will give you good exercise. Sewing, embroidery, knitting, crochet, and drawing all take a decent amount of time before you can improve. Some people even double up and use their fiber work projects to meditate at the same time. The trick is to push yourself to sit still and work just a little more every time. But, never rush!
As awful as it sounds, the only way to get better is to force yourself to sit down and work slowly. You have to pay careful attention at first, and it’s maddening. But the first step is the worst. After several years of sewing, I’ve gotten to the point where I can both practice for witchcraft and make some gifts for my loved ones. It’s also quite handy to do clothing repairs myself instead of sending them out and paying for it. I do have to warn you, though. Craft supplies become an addiction quickly—just like witchcraft supplies.
What have you tried to learn focus and patience? Comment below!