I used to pride myself on being a very patient person. But something has shifted in the last few years, and now I can’t bear the gap of waiting for someone to act, for something to grow, for something to happen. I know most people would say that it’s because everyone wants instant gratification these days and has no patience, but I think it could be more that because so many things are instant now – online messages, online banking, 3D printing etcetera, we have actually become conditioned to expect things to happen instantly.
It wasn’t that long ago, that if we wanted to send someone a message, we had to write it on paper, put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it and send it, then wait patiently for it to arrive, and then for them to find the time to write a reply and send it back. Even when email was in its infancy, we didn’t expect people to reply immediately, after all, most people didn’t check their email every day.
But now, if it takes more than a few hours for someone to reply, we think they’re ignoring us. If someone reads our FB message, but doesn’t reply immediately after reading, then we KNOW they’re ignoring us.
The funny thing is, we expect everything to happen instantly, but when it comes to manifesting the life we want, the car we want, the body we want, or the relationship we want, we expect it to take time. In fact, we often don’t believe it’s even possible.
Yet we do believe that our lives can change in an instant for the worse. A loved one could die in an accident, or be diagnosed with an illness. A weather disaster or fire could take away our homes, our possessions. We could get fired, or lose our money in an investment.
I don’t think I’m alone in my impatience, but I do think that it has impacted my life in a negative way. I get bored very easily, having lost my patience for the process. I like to do things in the moment I have the idea or motivation to do them, rather than wait for a more appropriate time. I hate trial and error, I want to spend my time doing things and making things that I know will work.
But it means that I find it hard to relax, to meditate, to do one thing at a time instead of six, and to be honest, it makes me far less productive. It also means I have a bad memory. Because I am not fully present in my tasks. I will absentmindedly read an email, get sidetracked, then forget the email exists, and never reply. Whereas if I opened my emails at a time where I am focused on reading and replying to emails only, then there wouldn’t be any going unanswered.
Is it possible to reprogram patience and focus into our lives? I’d like to think so. Otherwise, we might just find that our lives have slipped by while we were impatiently waiting for the next thing to happen.