Friday, September 29, 2006

Instant Gratification Vs. Hard Work

In these time, it seems more and more that everyone believes in the idea of instant gratification. Our society demands instant gratification. No wonder when most people find that getting something done actually requires a bit of time and hard work they are hesitant. For example when at the grocery store I often find products that cater to this idea getting what you want at the moment you want it. I drink iced tea on a regular basis and the kind that I get is that, 'instant iced tea mix' but why do I and so many people insist on these quick fixes not only in the things we buy but the way we live and most importantly the way we treat ourselves?

There are instant pain relievers, games where you can be the instant winner and of course high-speed internet(sadly, which I don't know how I could live without.) We even have people who claim they can help you with an instant solution to any problem you may have. It's insane how many people actually believe that someone that has never met you and doesn't know you would be able to help with a problem that's personally affecting you.

The conversation I had with a co-worker the other day led me to do a lot of thinking on why , we as a people in modern times have been condition(or predisposed?) to have these expectations? I argued that it was something that gets entered in to most of brains at an early age. As children many of us are pampered in such a way that leads us to believe we are superior and thus we are usually given everything we want without a care from our parents that this might actually cause us harm later in life.

Even when children don't get what they want, they somehow find a way to attain it. For instance, I was at Walmart some time ago and I was in the cereal isle. I quickly noticed a child that seemed about four or five years old. I watched as he sat in the shopping cart while his mother grabbed a box of cereal on the bottom shelf. The young boy reached to the opposite side of the isle and he grabbed a box of pop-tarts and threw it in the cart. Now as soon as his mother noticed it she quickly snatched it and placed it back on the shelf. All of a sudden the young boy started yelling and kicking his legs up and down. So his mother actually gave him the pop-tarts without putting up a fight. I shook my head in disagreement and went on my way.

But you might be reading this and thinking, isn't instant gratification a good thing? Sure, wouldn't we all would love to push a button and receive what ever we wanted? It seems like everyone is getting exactly what they want except me! Is that truly the case? I admit many things have crossed my path that I've felt luck to receive but in life in terms of progress and happiness many things don't just come to many people.

Most of the time when I see people happy or successful it's usually the result of hard work and effort. For instance you might see someone who recently has been promoted and think, 'They are so lucky" or maybe you know someone who recently purchased a new home or got married but none of these things are the result of instant gratification. Think about what one has to do to get where they are.

A co-worker of mines recently was promoted to higher position and yes, I believed this person may have just been lucky or favored but after I spoke with a few other people I realized this person had been with the company for several years and before that they worked here and there, and thus this person was actually very much qualified was a great choice.

On the life side of things you may feel like you need another person to feel complete but is the really the truth? My parents were together for years and they have never been happier until they separated from each other. Everyone is different and has different ideas of happiness. To be happy you need to first define what happiness means to you. Does happiness mean being able to have the pop-tarts? Getting that great job or promotion or does it mean being with someone who completes you? Or is it simply being satisfied with what life has given you and what you've done with it? It's all relative to you. Don't lets someone else hopes, goals and expectations shape your own... You'll make them happy but you'll still be where you started.

The moral of the story? Quick Doesn't Mean Quality. Usually something that comes hot out of the microwave doesn't taste as god as say the lasagna you baked last night. Taking the shortcut doesn't always mean you'll be ahead in the race. To get great results you must work hard and take your time to do things the right way. Wonder why the good stuff usually cost more than the cheaper version? Just remember, you get what you pay for. God bless.