I’ve got big dreams. And it ticks me off sometimes how long it takes to make them come true.
Every day I’m impatient for my career to move to the next level.
Yet I’ve done amazingly well for myself.
Sold an eight-figure business I built from scratch.
Gathered a Pride full of amazing men who help each other grow.
Built an amazing team at the Lions Pride I know is dedicated to make my dreams, and by extension your dreams, come true.
Why am I telling you this?
Because you’re probably just like me.
- Impatient for things to take off in your business.
- Impatient to become the overnight success story featured on the cover of Inc. and Entrepreneur.
- Impatient when you assign a task and it doesn’t get done.
- Impatient when your best efforts net you so little gain.
- Impatient when people you know would benefit from a relationship with your company won’t lean in and listen.
Impatience drives you in business to greater heights.
You’re antsy to get things done because you have a vision of how it should be. How it will be.
And every bit of impatience drives you toward a better outcome because you push harder, faster and smarter to iron out the wrinkles.
Shouldn’t that same strategy work at home?
The playground battleground
I’m an engineer, and constantly tried to apply my practical knowledge to improve my relationship with my kids.
At one point I even designed a backyard playground to build with my kids. At the time, I was neck-deep in launching my first company.
I needed an excuse to spend time with my kids, and this seemed like a good idea to get them in on the design-build project that they would benefit from.
Problem is, I brought my impatience home from work.
I needed that company to fly so badly that it was all I could think about when I tried to build that playground.
With work on my mind, I felt like I was wasting precious time by involving my kids in a project I could have done three times faster by myself.
I didn’t see it then, but I now understand that when I was supposed to be teaching them how to build a playground, I was really teaching them how to be impatient.
That activity should have bound us together—if I’d had the patience for it. But instead it probably hurt my relationships. (At least until the playground was finished.)
I’m sure I snatched tools from my kids’ hands and got things done more often than I should have.
And instead of inspiring my kids and helping them admire and trust me, I was driving in a wedge. Through my actions, I was telling my kids they were too slow and incompetent and that it’s not OK to have to learn but it is OK to be impatient.
About as counterproductive as you can be, right?
You’ve probably had these moments with your kids—maybe while teaching them a life skill or making a pinewood derby car with them.
It’s easy to do and hard to correct.
7 habits of highly patient fathers
Earlier this week on the podcast, my business partner Robert and I talked about 7 habits of highly patient fathers. I’m going to share those habits again here.
Getting impatient with kids because of work? These 7 habits will help...
After too many counterproductive “relationship-building” activities with our kids, we started to learn these seven habits.
These are the habits that will cut off the healthy impatience you have at work to make your time with your kids more valuable.
1. Equate patience with love
Your kids already do this, whether you like it or not. Your children interpret impatience as a lack of love.
Author Charles Caleb Colton once wrote that “Patience is the support of weakness. Impatience is the ruin of strength.”
Whether you’re teaching your kid to play a game, build a playground or learn algebra, you can support them and love them by being patient. But you’ll ruin their strength if you get impatient.
2. Level with your children
Kids don’t listen well. You know that, and you get impatient with it. But sometimes they don’t follow through when we’ve asked them to do something because they don’t understand your reasoning behind asking them to do it.
Take the time to literally talk to them on their level—emotionally and physically.
- Take a knee
- Look your child in the eye
- Explain in a sentence or two what you need and why you need it while you have your child’s undivided attention.
The alternative is to be the threatening “tower of power” which is impatient and downright intimidating.
3. Spend quality time with your kids
Try to spend a minimum of 10 minutes per day with each child doing something they want to do. Put aside work and worry and let them direct your time.
This will build your patience and your relationship.
4. Examine your triggers
When you feel impatient with your kids, it could be because you’ve “told them 1,000 times” not to do that or it could be that you had a nasty day at work.
Find ways to channel that trigger a different direction. If your patience has been triggered by external factors like work, you might just need to remind yourself that’s the real source of your impatience. Self-awareness is the first step to becoming more patient.
5. Set systems and boundaries with natural consequences
You want your kids to have nurtured spirits, not broken spirits. That doesn’t mean you raise wimp children.
Set boundaries that have natural consequences. For instance, if you’ve assigned the job of clearing the table and doing the dishes to a child, the natural consequence is that there can be no next meal. Just be patient enough to not do it for them or firm enough to follow through.
6. Set your intent
I practice segment intending.
However you segment your day, from meetings to work to home life, you need to set your mindset before you begin. That will help you realize what you want and then achieve it.
For instance, before a meeting, take a moment to declare to yourself what you want out of it, then you’ll have the ability and courage to reach for that.
And before you go home, intend to cast off the impatience of your daily business life to be patient with your children.
7. Surround yourself with growth-minded people
Read all you can find from experts you admire.
Whatever you can find that will teach you more patience with kids, learn from it and apply it.
Get in accountability groups, Facebook groups, or lead a group yourself for fathers who want more patience. Take workshops, go to seminars and conferences. Webinars.
By surrounding yourself with growth-minded people, you’ll all improve together.
That’s the concept behind our successful group coaching. You get men around each other who all want to improve, and the growth is exponential. It’ unbelievable, really.
Patience pays off
And you know what? These same habits will make you a more successful businessman too. After all, “patience is the art of concealing your impatience.” So the more patient you learn to be despite your impatience, the better your business will do too.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough done, that probably makes you impatient.
That’s why we launched the Accelerate Your Productivity Challenge.
This 4-week challenge will push you to get more done in less time, which will help improve your patience at work and at home. And that means better outcomes.