When you try to rush through life, life rushes by you
The world has become fast. News travels in seconds to us, food can be ordered to our doorstep in less than an hour, and you can find a date with someone without leaving your house.
With the fast pace of the world, we have lost our patience. We want everything to be done for us in seconds and if it’s not done in seconds, we tend to get frustrated by it.
I have noticed this impatience start to creep into areas of my life outside of the tech world. Speeding up to a red light, getting frustrated in traffic and even rushing in and out of the bathroom.
When you try to rush through life, life rushes by you. Sometimes you need to take in the moments we take for granted and see if you can notice something new about it.
Sign 1: The Hand Dryer Test
When you use a public restroom with a crappy hand dryer, do you always walk out of the restroom with your hands slightly damp? I know people typically hate hand dryers because they don’t dry their hands off but if you had enough patience to let your hands dry off, they would be dry. All it takes is an extra 20 seconds and the days of leaving the restroom with wet hands would be over.
What does saving that 20 seconds give you?
Why are you rushing through the process? It may seem simple but impatience can become a habit that we build into our lives. We take shortcuts washing our hands and drying them off all to save 30 seconds to basically do nothing afterwards.
Next time you use a hand dryer in a bathroom, notice what your impulses are. Do you want to rush in and out or do you want to actually do it right?
Sign 2: The Grocery Line Test
How often do you get into line at a busy grocery store and then switch lines just to see that the line you originally chose went faster?
Often we second guess our choices and after we make the first choice we immediately want to go to the second choice after we perceive the first choice as being past our level of patience.
This is similar to when you make a fitness plan and after a week, you make an entirely new fitness plan because you didn’t see any results yet from the original fitness plan. Then the new fitness plan doesn’t work as expected so you go back to the original. This leads to frustration and sometimes we give up altogether.
Sign 3: Driving Somewhere That’s Less Than A 10 Minute Walk Away
Anytime someone says that they need to exercise more but then they get an Uber for somewhere that’s a 10 minute walk away, I roll my eyes.
I understand that sometimes you may be in a rush and time does mean something but a majority of the time, you don’t need to save the time.
We often get caught up in our habits. I fell to this only this morning. I’ve been telling myself that I wanted to eat a healthier breakfast eat morning but instead of spending 10 minutes to make myself something, I decided to order something from the coffee shop downstairs from me. Instead of taking the 10 minutes to better myself, I perceived this as “only today” but the truth is, every action we take reinforced a habit for ourselves.
I bet if I went 3 months without ordering from the coffee shop in my building, the thought wouldn’t occur to me.
Just as the idea of driving somewhere that’s 10 minutes away, if you started to walk, the habit of walking to those places would take over the impulse to drive.
Sign 4: You Google Everything
It’s so easy to pick up your phone today and look up the answers for everything. What this ended up killing was our intuition to problem solve. Some of my own biggest breakthroughs in learning a skill did not come from looking it up but solving the problem on my own.
It does take time and patience to do this. Next time you’re not in a time crunch, instead of looking up that excel formula, see if you can solve it on your own. This may help lead you to a greater understanding and solve more problems down the road.
Instead of looking for the hack, try to see if you have what it takes to do it. I’m not saying that you should beat your head against a wall if you’re stuck. If you truly are stuck, then it’s okay to start doing research. Instead of jumping right into looking something up, give it a try first. See where your weaknesses are, then solve the problem.
Sign 5: You Look For Shortcuts Before You Start
There have been plenty of times when I was assigned a work project and the first 50% of the time that I had to work on the project, I was looking for a shortcut.
If I had started the project instead of looking for a shortcut, I probably would have finished the project by the time I decided to give up on looking for a shortcut. This would lead to stress and that feeling of incompetency as I would end up putting out a project that wasn’t my best work.
In life, we want the 6-minute abs approach to everything. Why workout for an hour a day when I can do it in 6-minutes?
Life doesn’t work that way. If there was a true shortcut to anything, the shortcut wouldn’t be a shortcut, it would be the main path.
As humans we like secrets. We think that if we have some secret knowledge that no one else knows, then we will get a leg up on people.
Well the real secret is this, there are no shortcuts. You often have to pay your dues. Even if you do find a fast track to success, usually that is done through favors of someone else and you’ll ultimately sell yourself out in the long run.
Do you feel like your impatient? Look here in the plethora of articles that I have written on self improvement, running and fitness.