I believe patience came easily to us 15 years ago. I believe it was natural for us, and that not only made us resilient – but practical. Now, patience is a dying trait – nay, patience is a dying skill, and that for our ultimate well-being, it must be relearned.
Today, we live in a world of instant gratification. We order things online, and they’re delivered within 24 hours if not minutes. We purchase things with one click, connect with a long-lost friend with one message, and have access to pretty much everything within our fingertips, within seconds. If this is not magical, I don’t know what is.
But this magical, powerful ability is unfortunately causing our detriment.
As a child of the 90s, I grew up with dial-up internet. I still remember the excitement and joy I felt waiting during those 5-10 minutes to connect to the world wide web. That experience was joyful, happy, exciting. During those 5 minutes I thought of all the friends I would e-mail, all the websites I would visit, and all the celeb news I would read. Today, those same 5 minutes would agitate even the most well-tempered of us. Why? Because we no longer have patience. At that time, we waited for things. Things took time. And it was natural for them to take time. Not only did we understand that, we expected it, and it taught us patience. And patience was not only our virtue, but our joy. I will even argue and say that because everything is so accessible, easy and quick these days, we have become unhappy. It has become our detriment. Not only are we, by nature of being human, attached to the outcome of our desires, we expect that outcome to arrive quickly. And when it does not, we’re utterly disappointed. Many of us quit. The rest just develop anxiety and depression.
This not only translates to our electronic lives, but also to everything else. It has bled into our every part of our every day, which is why companies know that easy and quick sells. I always am appalled by the constant barrage of “fit teas” and quick weight loss supplements and gimmicks that promise profound results in an extraordinarily short amount of time. And boy do they sell. The next time you’re at the grocery check out counter, look at the magazine headlines and think of me….. “Lose 20 lbs in 6 days!”, “the secret to quickly build your business”, “how X became famous in 5 seconds”…..
Is it no wonder that we’re unhappy? Is it no wonder that we give up on our dreams and goals far too soon? But how are we to blame, when we were unconsciously primed that good things can happen to you instantly?
If you want to be happy, truly happy, teach yourself to be gentle, and patient, with yourself, with others, and the world around you. Understand that the natural, normal course for things, is to take time. “For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3). Patience is not only a virtue. But it is a requirement for your wellbeing.
Do one thing, each day, that requires patience. Sit there with it, face it, and learn it. Learn that skill, or re-teach it to yourself, and take it with you to all other aspects of your life. You may also learn it through meditation, or prayer. You can physically build something, grow a garden, or plant a seed and watch it grow. It will take time, the natural time that’s meant for it to take, but it will happen, eventually. Observe that. Not only will this foster your patience, but it will foster your belief in the certainty of the outcome. “It will surely come; it will not delay.” To accomplish great things, we do not need extraordinary powers. But we must, we must have faith and patience, along with the reserve to consistently and constantly show up. If you’re losing weight, building a business, finishing a career, trying to conceive, whatever it is… whatever it is… take patience with you wherever you go. Because in patience, you will find your peace.