Qur’an lays a lot of emphasis on patience (sabr). According to a Qur’anic verse in the chapter Al-Zumar (Crowds): Truly those who persevere patiently will be requited without measure (39:10)
Such a verse has not appeared in the Qur’an for any other deed. Only for patience does the Qur’an say that its reward would be countless in measure. What is this reward? This reward is not a result of any mysterious phenomenon. It is that which those who exercise patience receive instantly if they have exercised patience in the real sense. Patience and reward are inseparable parts of each other. In the above verse of the Qur’an, reward refers to personality development. A developed personality is the biggest quality of a man. In reality, personality development is what separates man from an animal. And the biggest source of personality development is patience. All qualities—wisdom, positive thinking, love, generosity, forbearance, and so on are innate in man. Given a chance to grow, just as a seed grows to become a complete tree, a man would also grow into a complete man.
In truth, man is born with unlimited potential. As soon as he is born, this potential starts to unfold on its own. This potential does not require any additional endeavor for its unfolding. An allegorical reference in the Qur’an clarifies this further: Have you not considered how God sets forth a parable of a good word (being) like a good tree? Its root is firm and its branches are in the sky, it yields its fruit each season with its Lord’s permission—God makes such comparisons for people in order that they may reflect. (14:24-25)
The tree is a unique phenomenon of nature. It is a self-growing phenomenon of creation. The entire tree is potentially hidden in seed and when the seed unfolds, it turns into a tree. So is the case of man. Man is born as a child, which is like a seed. The child has unlimited potential to grow and if given an opportunity to unfold, it will go on growing and become a mature and complete person. All qualities—wisdom, positive thinking, love, generosity, forbearance, and so on are innate in man. Given a chance to grow, just as a seed grows to become a complete tree, a man would also grow into a complete man. What hinders the growth or personality development in a man? Man has to live in society and there he always encounters unwanted situations, which can disturb him. He may thus develop anger, hatred, malice, and negative thinking. These obstruct the natural course of growth of man. In such a scenario, man’s personality development has just one condition—that he develops in him the quality of patience. He must learn to remain unaffected despite facing unwanted experiences. In other words, he must learn the art of unaffected living.
Now the question is how to lead an unaffected life? The method is very simple. It is all a matter of thirty seconds. You need to become the personality of Thirty Seconds, and the remaining job will be done by nature. Whenever you encounter an unwanted situation, you tend to become impatient. If left unchecked, it would reach the state of a breakdown. If you want to put a check on your unwanted reaction, you need to empty your mind for thirty seconds by observing silence. As a result, the anti-wave that had arisen would break and disperse. It would not become a part of your personality.
If you practice this, you will realize that although for the first thirty seconds you were very disturbed after thirty seconds, you became absolutely normal. After thirty seconds, you return to your normal state of mind. If you want to test the veracity of this formula, you need to experiment with it. In the very first experience, you will find that this formula is a hundred percent successful formula.