Managing Your Instant Gratification Expectations
I was thinking earlier today about how we now live in this world of the immediate. I remember when I was 15 years old how if I needed to speak with a friend about some ‘dire situation’ (like whether the guy I was crushing on left a note at my locker or not) the process was to wait until I got home to the landline and make the call – yes a landline, I’m that old 😉
Half the time when I made the call I’d get no answer or a busy signal. For those families that were advanced enough I’d either get and answering machine or call waiting…
Regardless I had to have patience. The idea of walking down the street and being able to get in-the-moment support, from someone on a device the size of a cassette tape, about whatever ‘critical’ situation I had going on in that second, wasn’t even a ping on the radar – let alone an expectation at that time.
These days I notice myself wondering how we got along before the convenience of smartphones, et al… What happened if you were late?? You couldn’t just call from your car and say you were running behind. Even as recent as 10 years ago the idea that everyone (not just execs or people with cash to burn) would have access to their email from their phones was ridiculous.
As I was thinking about this today, I started to wonder how this mentality of ‘get-it-now’ has impacted the rest of our lives. Stop and think about this for a moment…. 25 years ago Walkmans were just becoming available for the average Joe.
We still had to buy the whole vinyl record or tape (remember that sound at the beginning or the end of a cassette?? HAHA!) We had party lines and answering machines with tape recorders in them! VCRs were just becoming available to the masses and microwave ovens were state of the art technology.
I’m willing to bet that around that time people started to shift and the idea of having things happen NOW began to seep into our psyches as a more consistent expectation.
Look at your own life for a minute… what’s one of the big issues in your life that you’d like to fix? Finances? Weight? Job? Relationships? I imagine somewhere in your unconsciousness exists the idea of being able to push a button to fix the issue.
It seems to me through conversation with friends, family, and clients alike, we have this idea that regardless of how long it took us to get into the situation we’re in, we should be able to snap our fingers and get out of it.
It’s almost like the expectation has become: “Well I thought about being on a diet for 10 minutes and I also ate lots of vegetables at lunch so I should be able to lose 20 pounds by the end of the day.” Or “I updated my resume so my dream job should magically appear within the week.” Or “I’ve been really responsible this whole month with my budget, I deserve a treat! I’m going to go on a shopping spree!”
It’s a ludicrous cycle – when you stop and look at the standards and expectations we have for how our lives should work; we get really down on ourselves when we don’t live up to these impossible expectations, and then we wonder why we’re dissatisfied with our lives or parts there of.
Seriously think about it: what is one issue you’re looking to deal with in your life right now? How long have you been thinking about it, or wishing, or wanting to, or have been talking about fixing it?
How long did it take you to get into the situation in the first place?
What have you been doing to deal with it? You have to be really honest here about what REAL and EFFECTIVE actions you’ve been taking. I mean actions like the kind that could be filmed and then played back for another to see if they were watching the movie of your life.
Action = going to the gym AND going inside AND following a workout plan to completion.
Action = updating your resume AND getting it proof read AND looking for job postings AND actually applying for jobs. Action in this case could even mean having to get more training before you’re even going to be qualified to update your resume and apply for a job!
Good intentions simply don’t count here.
Then of course you have to have patience while your actions create opportunities and movement towards the end goal… Patience… Sigh. What kind of patience have you had with yourself? How quickly have you given up on yourself?
If it took you 10 years to put on the weight you now want to lose, it’s going to take you longer than 10 minutes of intense wishing to lose it.
If you want a new job that’s better than the one you have (or is your dream job) you’re going to have to work at figuring out what the job is and then work at getting yourself qualified to be a successful candidate.
If it took you 5 years to accrue debt, it’s going to take time to pay it down. Figuring out a successful plan that you can stick to, and then sticking to it!! is going to take time.
It’s going to take work. It’s going to take discipline. It’s going to take commitment and keeping your eye on the prize. Most of all it’s going to take grace and compassion… for yourself… when you falter and fail… to get back on the horse and keep going towards said prize!!
Give yourself a break!
It occurs to me that somewhere along the way we’ve lost sight of having compassion for ourselves and accepting where we are. It seems as though there’s a whole lot of finger pointing, judging, and making ourselves wrong instead.
I’m here to tell you, THAT won’t get you anywhere closer to dealing with the issue at hand. The only thing that’s going to get you any further ahead than where you are now, is a plan. Then conscious, consistent action and effort, in alignment with what you’re committed to creating or achieving in your life.
It’s that simple.
Conscious, CONSISTENT effort.
As simple as the days before Walkmans! 😉
Of course this sounds pretty straightforward in print… the thing is, along with the habits you need to change so you can create different results in your life, you still have the mindset that created those ineffective habits in the first place; that still needs to get dealt with before you’ll have any real luck.
Doing that on your own can be a real challenge and often people struggle to find long-term success. If that sounds like you – you’ve done everything you know to do and you’re still stuck, maybe it’s time we talked. I have a few spots for new clients opening up in the New Year and I’d love to work with you to help you create real and lasting power in your life. Together we can deal with the mindset side of things that gets in the way of you having the life you want! Let’s kick off your 2018 with a bang!
Click here to set up your free 30-min consult and we’ll (at the very least) get you started down the road to real success!
Until next time ,
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