In an age of instant gratification, we want everything fast, like instant noodles: relationships, money, travel, career, health and what not. But somethings won’t change by their very own nature: it still takes nine months to deliver a baby. The point is, patience is slowly losing currency amongst those who want to get everything done instantaneously. And it’s sad that our own myopic idea of professional and personal happiness is limited to this notion of instant gratification. We have willingly held ourselves ransom to this vicious cycle.
We just don’t want to wait!
Our idea of just about anything and everything is fleeting, like our attention span. The current generation with its ‘gotta have it now’ mindset and an emphasis on technology has made them acutely dependant on the idea of being connected 24/7. For instance, before enjoying a good meal or a surreal landscape ourselves, we happily share that very first moment with the world on social media for ‘likes’ and ‘Haha’s. Our happiness is dependant on how many people appreciate our post on Facebook and Instagram than us being in the moment ourselves. The fact that our lives have been re-modified in such a way that we can’t imagine ourselves without a smartphone or Internet. A day without a phone or Internet leaves us paralysed. It speaks volumes about how we have started to value ‘things’ rather than experiences.
Invest in Experiences
Figure out what makes you happy. If photography is the thing for you, it’s wise to invest in a good camera. But an expensive camera won’t help you produce a body of work that’s path-breaking. It’s your perspective of looking at things, and that can’t be borrowed or bought in a shop. Buying materialistic things will give you momentary joy, but living out an experience will remain with your forever. For instance, you might forget your latest outing at the mall, but you will perhaps never forget your first skydiving experience, or your solo motorcycle ride to the mountains.
It’s okay to slow down
Everything and everyone around us are constantly in a rush. Rush to meet a deadline, rush to reach office on time, rush to make more money, rush to achieve better results in a gym, rush into relationships and the list goes on. Dial P for patience and slow down the hectic pace of life. Just sit back, disconnect for a while from work, social media and think about the decisions you have taken and the ones you are going to take in future. Think over it. Escaping this interconnected life is difficult and maybe impractical too at a universal level. That’s not the ultimate goal here anyway. Consider disconnecting from the virtual world and engage people in face-to-face conversations. You will realise the richness of real-time communication and how it develops your personality. You will also feel how we as human beings have the innate ability to absorb knowledge from other’s, which in turn shapes our character. Go out for coffee with friends, take a stroll in the park with your parents. Anything that bridges the divide between your loved ones.
Train your mind to be patient
Try to train your mind into appreciating happiness that’s long-lasting and understanding that achieving great things take time. Accept a more easy-going and patient lifestyle. Why do we even need to rush if we can get things done in a more relaxed fashion without stressing out? This will definitely help the current generation navigate into adulthood. Important milestones in life such as marriage, relationships, a successful career, having children are some traditional achievements in life. Being successful in any aspect of life requires perseverance, patience and hard work. These core foundation are universally accepted and never change.
Remember instant gratification is fleeting happiness: It comes as fast as it goes.
By its very definition, it is not meant to give us satisfaction for a longer duration of time. It is designed to keep us coming back for more, like drugs. And then, it leaves a void.
Respect a slower pace of life and focus more on the journey in reaching the final outcome. In that sense, life is really about the journey, not the outcome.