Impatience is the Enemy

Technology has trained us to be impatient.

We buy pre-packaged foods so that we can eat instant dinners. We scan our own groceries so we don’t have to wait in line. We pay at the pump, send instant messages and Google the answer. No matter where we look in our lives, it seems we need only to decide what we want and there’s a piece of technology designed to help us get it – right now.

But what happens in those stubborn few domains of our lives that defy “express delivery?” Having a baby still takes 9 months. Earning a University degree still takes 4 years. And, yes, building a successful career (or business) can still take a lifetime. For some things there are no shortcuts.

I’ve been reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Oslon and he points out an unpopular truth behind success: it doesn’t happen quickly. It builds slowly, gradually, almost invisibly at first. Like saving for retirement or losing weight, it takes small consistent actions – over a long period of time – to create an “overnight” success. But this has become a foreign concept in our fast-paced, instant-gratification lives. Most people will abandon their efforts long before they see the results.

Technology isn’t our enemy: impatience is.

Being impatient is just another way of punishing yourself. Beating yourself up because you haven’t “made it” yet only serves to sap your resilience, motivation and creativity. And it cheats you out of acknowledging where you already are and how far you’ve come. Realize that when you’re ready to move forward – in your career or business – you will! Until then, your only job is to stay patient and keep growing. Do the little things each day that will inch you forward. Like showing up and having the right attitude, investing in your skills, and figuring out what you really want.

So ease up.   Stop torturing yourself.   There is no overnight success.

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