GENERATION INSTANT GRATIFICATION


I'm a very impatient person. If I get the idea in my head that I want to do something or be somewhere, I find it really difficult not to just drop everything and do it immediately. It feels like when I want to do something, it can't wait. I have to do that thing whilst the idea is fresh and bubbling in my head. If I wait, the novelty might wear off or I might lose interest or the motivation to do that thing. Maybe my impatience is a personal thing and is caused by the fact that I have quite a turbulent personality. I pick up new projects and interests very quickly, but I get bored of them even quicker. Things don't hold my interest for very long. I don't like being in the same place for too long or falling into a routine. So, from a personal perspective, I can see where my impatience comes from. However, I do think, outside of just my own personality, that this impatience could be a generational thing. Maybe my lack of patience isn't something which just I experience, but is a new quality being absorbed by millenials everywhere?

As a generation, knowledge, goods and services have never been so readily available to us. Every online store promises that the items on your screen will be at your door within the next 48 hours without you having to do much more than lift a finger and click a few buttons. You can drive around the outside of a McDonald's and have hot food passed through the window of your car within minutes. I could log on to Netflix this second and watch the entire new season of Orange is the New Black in one day without having to wait 13 weeks for the episodes to air. We can place orders, get information and buy goods, often without even having to interact with another human. Modern technology has created a space where waiting times have been cut. In a world where all of these things are so readily available to the majority of us, 24 hours a day, is it any wonder that we've become an impatient generation obsessed with instant gratification?

Don't get me wrong, I can't think of anything better than living in a world where I can be sitting at home, thinking that I want some noodles and 3 minutes later those noodles are in my hand, ready to eat, with little more effort required than boiling a kettle and removing plastic wrapping. There is no hardship involved anymore. No slaving away at a stove for hours, no trawling from shop to shop to find the perfect pair of shoes (why bother when trawling the internet is so much quicker and can be done on your iPhone from the comfort of your bed?). We are a lazy generation. A spoilt generation. We are generation instant gratification.

But, maybe there are some negatives to these things being made so readily available to us. It's wiping away our innate abilities to be patient and to be gracious. It seems we have come to expect that everything in life should be available to us quickly and easily with no effort required. When we finish uni and don't immediately find our dream, high paying job which is begging for us to come work for them, we feel hurt. We feel lied to and like the system is working against us. We're so used to always getting everything we want with ease, that when we don't it feels completely unbearable. We've forgotten how to graft and how to work hard to reach the finish line. We're expecting the finish line to be neatly packaged and delivered to our front doors in 24 hours notice.

Depression, anxiety, dissociation and a complete lack of identity and self-worth have never been more prominent in society than they are now. The majority of people who you speak to will probably be willing to admit that they're not entirely satisfied with their lives. They feel like something is missing from it or that things could be better. I think that the reason that so many of us are low and unsatisfied today is because we're expecting a quick burst of happiness from things which actually can take weeks, months or years to master. We're so unequipped to deal with the things in life which take time to become good at, that we're turning on ourselves and allowing our minds to destroy themselves for not being good enough.

You can't pick up an instrument and expect to play perfectly on the first day! You can't go on a 5k run and suddenly feel ready to sprint a  marathon! You can't start a new job and become the office expert after just a week. Real achievements take time. They take effort and hard work. They're not as simple as just swiping or clicking. The most important thing is to remember that it's okay to feel like you're in too deep or that you're never going to have a clue what's going on. It's okay to feel low - taking on new tasks is hard. You have valid reason to feel this way! Make a little time, keep at it and don't give up because you didn't achieve everything you wanted to on day one.

I'm a very impatient person. I'll be the first person to admit that. It's the way I am, and I don't think that's very likely to change. I'll always have an attention span which means that in the space of 24 hours I can pick up 4 new hobbies and drop 3 of them. But what I am going to try to remember is that the most important things in life do take time. As a generation, we need to stop beating ourselves up because we haven't achieved everything in life which we wanted to yet. We have SO much time left to achieve everything we're capable of. Keep your head down, keep listening and learning. You're going to get to where you want to be. The key to your happiness is patience.


3 comments :

  1. This is such an interesting and well written post Lauren!! I definitely agree that true achievements take time x


    Abi | abistreetx

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  2. This is an amazing post, so well written and SO true. I'm so used to getting things I want delivered next day, or even same day, it has definitely made me more impatient - the expression "good things come to those who wait" doesn't seem as relevant now - because we generally don't have to wait! Really, really relate to this post
    Hels xx
    http://thehelsproject.com/

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  3. I very much enjoyed this post, up until the last paragraph...
    As you mentioned everything takes time and work. This includes changes being made within ourselves. So if you wanted to work on patience and change that piece of you--if it bothers you-- I fully believe you could accomplish this. Provided you can make yourself aware it would be one of those things that can take substantial time.

    That being said, this post was excellent and most definitely true from my perception as well!

    Take care!

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