It seems today that we continually want more, and we want more quickly, in fact we want it now, this minute. Quick, hurry up…
The art of patience seems to have been lost and this means we struggle to even comprehend the satisfaction and pleasure of waiting for something and then finally having what it is we desired.
It is not entirely our fault, we live in a fast paced, digital world where most things are a few clicks away. Whether it is online food, clothes, car or house shopping or paying for services such as your utility bills or managing your bank account you can do it all without leaving the comfort of your own home.
We have apps for everything from booking to baking, from coaching to communicating and organising to origami.
Now, this is no bad thing, these advancements in technology have made our lives simpler and easier. We have the potential to have more available time than ever, we have more disposable cash than ever, and we have more belongings than ever; it is a great time to live.
Yet, we don’t seem to be getting happier.
With all of these easy solutions within our lives, combined with all of the material possessions we own, we are led to believe we need more to feel complete, to feel whole, to feel good about ourselves.
It has become the norm to browse the internet or apps for places we’d like to go, possessions we’d like to purchase and upgrades that we want to have. The problem is that this creates a false reality in our mind that because we can see it, we assume it is immediately achievable; this blurs our perspective and we begin to believe that what we want is what we need.
Think of it this way; have you ever felt genuine disappointment having not won a raffle or the lottery because you believed you would win, and you desperately wanted to win?
When we focus exclusively on the things we want, we create unconscious sadness because we are continually setting ourselves up to fail. We can’t have it all or at least we certainly can’t have it all, now!
The mindset of immediately wanting more, is having a detrimental effect on our mental health and on our prospect of personal development because we are subconsciously establishing three potentially negative outcomes:
- Having more immediately is unrealistic and this means we can never be satisfied or feel fulfilled as we will always be wanting
- This predisposes us to low self-worth; consistently feeling down, not good enough or potentially even depressed, as we are always expecting more from ourselves and for ourselves
- We struggle to move forward in our development as we will continually have low confidence and therefore competence, as we don’t allocate accurate expectations around the time necessary to progress ourselves
Think of it this way, whether your goal is to start from no level of conditioning to running a marathon, to create a successful, profitable business from the ground up or buy some land and build your dream home, you have to invest a huge amount of time, energy and commitment into achieving your goal.
If we are used to wanting something and being able to almost immediately have it then we are going to internally wrestle with the concept of taking hundreds, thousands or even millions of small steps before we reach goal actualisation.
The concept of remaining focused on projects for any significant length of time has become alien to us, as we expect things on hand and available straight away.
Unfortunately, the void between our needs and our wants cannot ever be filled. We can never experience enough, purchase enough or own enough. The only way we can solve this problem is to realign our needs and wants so they are intertwined, and are generally one and the same.
It is only when we do so that we can become happier, feel fulfilled and be successful in our personal development.
It is only when we raise our self-worth and have realistic expectations of ourselves and for ourselves that we can develop the confidence and competence to grow.
Now, this is not to say that we can’t aspire to achieve better; to run that marathon, to create that business or build that home. We simply have to focus on managing our own expectations, creating a strategy to get there and implementing the tactics to achieve success.
Instead of homing in on the outcome that we want, we must focus our attention on the process to get there, as this is actually what we need.