The first step with dealing with your demons is acknowledging that they will always be around.
The Oscar winning biographical movie “A Beautiful Mind” had a lovely way of portraying this. In the movie, Russel Crowe portrays Nobel Prize winning Economist John Nash and his struggles with schizophrenia. All of John’s delusions revolve around three imaginary characters – Charles, Marcee and Parcher. As the story progresses and as Nash comes to terms with his condition, he accepts that all three of them are just figments of his imagination.
However, they never go away. The final scenes depict this beautifully. Right after winning the Nobel prize, John glances at the other end of the hallway to find all three of them standing and watching. But, he’s learnt to walk away. It is a powerful moment.
I was reminded of this as I was reflecting on three moments in the past month where I let my impatience get ahead of me. My immediate reaction after those moments was to be annoyed at myself for letting impatience even show up and, thus, find ways to tap into irritation. However, the flip side of impatience, a bias for action, is a core strength. So, the impatience isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon. I just need to be more aware of it and be able to catch it before it dictates my actions.
The “A Beautiful Mind” depiction is a good one. The next time I find myself falling prey to impatience, I think I should remember John Nash and say to myself – “You can choose to ignore it.”
Acceptance of the fact that it will always be around is the first step, though.