When rushing from one task to the next, we can lose sight of the big picture of our lives. Here are three ways we can begin to slow down and let everything come into peaceful focus.

1. Patience with ourselves.
“He that can have patience can have what he will.” (Benjamin Franklin)

Time is a gift, so try to give yourself plenty of it. Despite what others tell you, not everything needs to be finished in this exact moment, especially not the projects and pursuits that you treasure most in this world. Forgive your mistakes easily, and don’t be frustrated by slow progress – just keep moving.

2. Patience with others.
“Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.” (Paulo Coelho)

 Listening to others can teach us a lot about ourselves. When jumpy and eager to finish the conversation, it can be a sign that we need to find a bit more relaxation and harmony in our own lives. Also, giving people enough time to clearly express themselves is a significant gift in our age of instant communication and 140-characters-or-less communication.

3. Patience with circumstances.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” (A.A. Milne)

When we feel stressed it can be helpful to remember that humanity is part of a much larger system of nature. Our struggles and frustrations in the material world are but the blink of an eye compared to the movement of the seasons, the sun and the stars. It is our mission to dream and to achieve, but in doing so we must not be frustrated by one day’s failure or one season’s obstacles. Like canyons and cliffs and mountains, great things are built over time.

We’ll never have quite enough time to do everything we want in this world. All we can do is make wise use of the time we do have, learn to move at our own speed, and be patient enough to let all good things grow.