Can you train patience?

A man standing on top of a mountain

Is it even possible? How can you become more patient?

This is one of the traits I try to teach my students when learning the way of the sword.
How do you think someone can improve their patience? Are there any techniques, even if they don’t realize they’re improving it? As an instructor or teacher, what sort of exercises can you do to achieve this goal? I could think of two possible ways:

  • A) Making someone work hard and long towards a goal.
  • B) Make someone do repetitive tasks with a specific goal mind.

Nothing comes easy. Hard work is a must if you want to achieve a goal. Seems pretty obvious, yet the youngest (and some times the oldest) seem to not excel at being patient while training.

When the instructor tells you to repeat a task, a movement or anything really, it is not without a purpose. There’s a big picture to be seen here. Are the repetitive tasks meant to make you better? Absolutely. However, that will only happen if you are conscious while training. You need to know what you’re doing. Be self-aware and look back, are you improving or are you falling into the same mistakes over and over?

To sum up

Make them wait and fight for it. By working hard and being persistent when they would’ve wanted to abandon will most likely improve their patience and spirit.

Remember the saying:

The Master has failed more times than the student has ever tried

The master has shown patience, has persevered not only when it was easy but especially with it was hard.


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