Why We Can't Wait For Our Blessing!
Wait - Eat that Frog
The most difficult thing to do in life is not breaking the world record. It is not even marrying a prince. Neither is it running with your bare feet on burning coals. It is something we all face every single day, and it touches every age group, from babies to our most seniors. For that matter, it does not spare even our pet animals. It is called WAITING!
No one wants to wait. Even little babies are quick to learn the skills of manipulating the mother in order to speed up their gratification. Our culture is known to be obsessed with a desire for instant gratification. Brands have all moved from macro to micro. We want instant coffee. We delight in microwaved popcorn. I'd not be mistaken if I claimed that one of us right now is a culprit of eating frozen pizza or frozen veggies in the last three days, and the list may be endless.
We claim that our lives have become so busy, and we are too tired. The underlying rationale of why we can't wait is that, we are trying to be efficient. Waiting seems like the most outrageous physical, emotional and spiritual exercise one can endure. It is generally agreeable, that some of the most awkward moments we ever encountered, had to do with waiting. Waiting for the person you are so attracted to, to make the first move. You want them to ask you out, but they are taking long. In fact, too long. So you constantly endure moments of anxiety. I can already see you glancing at your phone hoping for a text message.
I am sure you agree that waiting can be awkward. The more the anticipation, the worse the emotional intensity you are likely to experience.
So, why do we feel this way? Why is the act of waiting packed with so much emotion? Are we as humans designed for instant gratification?
It appears, the answer is YES – Humans have a quest for instant gratification. Not surprisingly, we seem to share this trait with our supposed ancestors in the animal kingdom. Humans are universally driven by two major emotions. PLEASURE and PAIN! Every other emotion falls in-between these two. Whatever we do with our lives, the decisions we make, the careers we choose, the friends we gravitate towards, the way we choose our life partners, all hinge on these two emotions. We are moved by both conscious and unconscious perception that whatever we do will bring either pain or pleasure. And we are more likely to pursue the emotion of pleasure.
Therefore, the pursuit of pleasure must quickly be fulfilled or else that awkward moment of waiting which is packed with thoughts of pain (disappointment) takes over. Unfortunately, most of us make our life's decisions in a similar way, which leaves us in a lot of trouble. We want short-term results. With limited time for planning, growth or readiness to receive and handle whatever it is we desire or perceive as a source of pleasure. But, if you have lived long enough, you have learned that life is not designed for magic. There are systems and laws that have to be followed - like the law of gravity or the law of reciprocity. Thus, we must learn to use our emotions to our advantage.
So, is there a problem with waiting or wanting something sooner?
Off course not. There are times when waiting is ideal and times when it is not. If we make all our decisions based on short-term results, of seeking pleasure or avoiding pain, then we hand over control of ourselves. Our emotions begin to control us. And, anyone who is overly controlled by emotions becomes a victim of circumstance. Note the word overly. To a certain extent, you will need your emotions to guide you. Once you surrender you decisions to your emotional command center, you are no longer capable of determining the results of your actions.
In order for you to succeed in life, you must not succumb to the temptation of seeking only short-term pleasure, but learn to endure the short-term pain (of waiting) in order to obtain long-term pleasure. We must focus on essential things. For instance, If you want to lose weight, never focus on your pain of missing out on cheese cakes and brownies, instead focus on long-term pleasure of feeling good about yourself, looking attractive and taking those beautiful strides without running out of breath. As Anthony Robbins rightly said it,
“it's not actual pain that drives us, but our fear that something will lead to pain. And it’s not actual pleasure that drives us, but our belief – our sense of certainty – that somehow taking a certain action will lead to pleasure.”
In actuality, we are not driven by reality, but by our perception of that reality.
So when you feel like you cannot wait any longer, ask yourself. Are you making the decision based on short-term or long-term gratification? That smile may be charming for now, but is that the character you want, for the rest of your life? That business deal you are eying, will it keep your integrity and give you the breakthrough for your next major deal? That extra spoonful of desert, will it make you feel great about yourself in the next few months? Whatever it is you are going through right now, make sure, you are making decisions that are adding long-term value to your life.
Waiting is a very difficult thing, but sometimes, it is all we need for that glorious breakthrough.