In a world where many things have become incredibly convenient and easy to access, it’s crucial that we remember that some things require time; some things require journeys.
You might have heard that Phillip McGraw quote stating that “life’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Well that saying goes directly against something known as instant gratification. In today’s era, technology and inventions like social media, Netflix, and dating apps, have, to a certain extent, prevented us from interacting with the world around us. Some of us have in fact become prisoners to this very instant access. Instead of having an in-person conversation with someone we like, we now have the luxury of simply swiping left and right until we get a match with someone who appears attractive. While this is admittedly so much easier and less convoluted, it robs us of the greater fulfillment and growth we might receive from having that first, uncomfortable, face-to-face, icebreaker. The same thing can be applied to something as dope as Netflix. Think about how many people you could meet, or how many experiences you could have, if you decided one day that you’d instead go to the movie theater, or watch your weekly series in your dorm’s common room, as opposed to always binge watching shows in your room.
We need to remember that good things sometimes take time. In order to live a balanced life, we have to train ourselves to accept that certain things won’t be as convenient, or come as fast as we would like.
Here are three strategies that’ll help if you feel as if you’re only approaching life from the “sprint” perspective:
1. Take a Walk
When you go for a walk you embark upon a journey. There’s nothing instant about freely walking because it takes place over time. Walks can also be therapeutic and are experiences that reinforce patience. I almost always break away at least once every week to walk and discover, and I think that walking creates a positive diversion from time-consuming responsibilities. Additionally, because walks are journeys, they establish a gratification that occurs over time, hence the use of the word journey. And not to get too philosophical but that’s exactly what life is—a journey.
2. Cook a Meal Instead of Buying One
Cooking is another activity that requires time. It can also be a really fun individual and group thing. Whether or not you’re good at it, you may note that it’s usually more fulfilling than simply ordering take out.
3. Practice Activities That Require You to Pace Yourself
Jogging, swimming, and biking are all activities that cannot be accomplished without a balanced approach. They all require consistent effort and typically elicit a greater health benefit than playing FIFA 17 multiple hours throughout the day.
These strategies ultimately ensure that we enjoy the moment rather than submitting to an overarching need for instant and convenient pleasure. However, this isn’t to say that instant gratification is horrible. Convenience like that Dominos you ordered on a Thursday night at the library was beneficial in that it saved you time. The point is that we should maintain a balance between the things we can easily access and the things we have to work for. This will make for a lasting fulfillment.