"We can train the mind in a way that will make the word patience readily available. Here is a deceptively simple yet highly effective program that can be done over a two- to four-week period. Working this exercise will help prevent the damage that can be done by a single burst of anger, and it will lay the ground for the development of true patience. Each day during the training period, think patience just as you are about to do a specific activity that you tend to do fairly often on most days. This is an exercise designed to repeatedly bring the word patience to mind. You are not likely to need patience while doing any of these daily activities. You will be training the mind in a way similar to how we train the muscles of the body. In most cases it will be best to use only one of these exercises per day:

• "If you send a lot of e-mails, every time you are about to press the Send button, think, patience.
• "If you make phone calls regularly throughout the day, just before you dial, think, patience.
• "While reading the newspaper, as you are about to turn each page, think, patience.
• "At meals, as you are bringing the fork to your mouth, think, patience;
or each time you bring a glass to your lips, think, patience.
• "Every time you are about to touch a handle to open a door, think, patience.
• "Every time you are going to stand up, think, patience.
• "Every time you are about to sit down, think, patience.
• "Every time you change the channel on the television, think, patience.

"These are just examples. Make up other versions of this practice in accordance with your regular activities. For instance, I often play a word game on my iPad and when I am doing the training, each time I change the words of the game, I think, patience. The practice itself is quite easy to do. The most challenging part is remembering to do the exercise throughout the day. If it helps, try training every other day or on alternate weeks: a week of training and a week off. The important thing is to stick with the schedule you set up; consistency reaps rewards. Just like training the body, training the mind works best when you train regularly. There may be times when the exercise itself feels annoying. To be absolutely honest, the practice is no more exhilarating than thirty minutes on a treadmill, but the results can be life-altering.

"Sometimes it is wise to state the obvious. If, in a given circumstance, you become adamant that the behavior of another is so offensive or the conditions to which you are being subjected are so unacceptable that you decide to no longer be patient, then you are, in that moment, willing to undermine your progress, and understand that you must live with the consequences. My own experience is that as patience develops, those circumstances diminish. I believe your experience will be similar, especially as you see that you are the one who is hurt most by your loss of patience. No matter what the external circumstances, your impatience can only exist within you. You develop patience by working on yourself, not by attempting to change others."