You could learn to enjoy your life, right now. Racing towards happiness tomorrow is like chasing your own tail. Slow down a little and you might just get there faster!
We can make cakes from a packet. We can order a book from Amazon, in an instant, and it can arrive on our doorstep the very next day. Celebrity can be won within a few weeks, thanks to television. Speed and convenience are insisted upon in today’s society. What on Earth happened to patience? Patience used to be seen as a virtue. What have we lost in our insistence that everything be now, yesterday, faster and sooner?
This obsession with speed is causing us unhappiness, stress and anxiety
When everything is apparently so easy, the slowness of life’s progress can become maddeningly frustrating.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the marshmallow test. It’s a famous psychological test and I wish I’d heard of it when my children were young enough to be subjects.
Sit a marshmallow before a child aged three or four. Tell that child that you’ll be back in five minutes and that s/he’ll get another marshmallow if the first one is still there when you return.
Leave the room and you’ll have created an agony. Young children have a poor concept of time and the concept of delayed gratification is alien to them. They want that treat and they want it now! Younger children will almost always eat the marshmallow. The older they become, the more likely they are to wait.
In time that child will learn the concept of time and that waiting can bring rewards. It’s difficult, however, and takes time.
Perhaps you an train yourself to be more patient. I did and you can too.
When do we want it? Now!
Today’s obsession with quick results means that we live forever in the future, never taking the time to appreciate what it is to exist in the present. We expect results, instantly, and so forget the virtues of patience and moderate expectations.
You will probably never acquire the perfect body. Perhaps you will never attain perpetual bliss. Life will always have its ups and downs and complete happiness is always further away than an advert will tell you. We’re so convinced that progress must be fast that when we can’t control its speed we become disillusioned, stressed and sometimes angered.
It wasn’t always like this
It wasn’t so long ago that humanity’s dreams lay in seeing a bountiful harvest, in having children survive to maturity and in escaping ill-health and infirmity. We have largely achieved these aims. Perhaps we should be grateful for what we have, rather than continuing to tread the wheel of endless consumerism.
Back to the marshmallow test. Perhaps the most interesting fact about that test is that those children who could wait proved to be the children who went on to do better at school. They thus went onto get better exam results and better jobs. I would expect that they also, on average, had happier lives in general.
Patience is indeed, therefore, a virtue.
Perhaps you could use a little more of it.
You could learn to enjoy what you have – today!
Life is short and life hangs by the most slender of threads. Perhaps it’s time we all began to enjoy what we have, that little bit more, rather than lust after things which probably wouldn’t make us any happier anyway.
Perhaps we should begin to accept that those things which really matter take time to nurture and see to fruition.
There’s nothing wrong with ambition. There’s nothing wrong with working, striving and aiming to make our lives better for ourselves and for those around us.
What is problematic, however, is never coming to realise that we already have enough with which to be happy right now, if we ever gave ourselves the opportunity to take stock and see it. When we grow impatient with life, with others and with ourselves our relationships suffer, our work suffers, our happiness sets into decline. Many will turn to alcohol or drugs and many will begin to show signs of anxiety, chronic stress and depression.
How could hypnotherapy help you?
I use hypnotherapy in Reading, Oxford, London, Wallingford and Thame to help people see what is truly important in their lives I help them to use mindful approaches to appreciate the present more fully. The strange thing is, when we slow down a little we often achieve our goals faster.
I saw a person who described how stressed he became when jobs were more complex than expected. When he was stressed he would forget things and so often had to redo entire jobs which he thought he’d finished. I’ve heard this story many times from different clients. Stress is only ever a destructive feeling when calming down would see that job completed all the faster and all the more effectively
Get in touch and put a stop to destructive impatience
If you would like to see your life differently. If you’d like to let go of the never-ending and self-defeating obsession with tomorrow, the next house, the next promotion, the newest and shiniest car then please feel free to contact me here. You’ll find yourself calmer, happier, more productive and so much more likely to get those things anyway. Patience brings its rewards.
Best wishes, today and always,