We live in a world of, what I like to call, Microwave Mentality.
Two minutes and PING! you have a meal. This level of impatience and instant satisfaction have spilled over into other areas of our lives and are exacerbated by our cultural reliance on social media. We have an inability to wait for anything nowadays. Outlets like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok allow us to consume vast amounts of (useless) information in a short space of time. Our brains are literally assaulted with so many images and sounds, our neural pathways must light up like a firework display.
With this constant, instantaneous fulfilment, we often expect ourselves to work just as quickly. We want instant connections with other people, as quickly as pressing a friend request on Facebook. We want instant change, too. We forget that good things take time. When we embark on a new venture and we fail to see immediate results, we give up.
Please, stick with yourself and do not give up. If you are working toward changing an aspect of yourself or your life – whether it be weight loss (for health reasons), or a new hobby, or a new attitude you are trying to cultivate in yourself – please remember one thing: change does not happen overnight.
Change is a gentle process. It is a slow creeping, a quiet shift. So delicate is the process of change that we barely notice it happening until, one day, we open our eyes and see it. The seasons do not change overnight but, one day, we open our eyes and realise Winter is sleeping and Spring is awake. The flowers take some time to bloom until, one day, we see them in all their glory.
Change is a mindful process. When we are committed to it, we must take it step by step, day by day, and moment by moment. We must open our eyes to the opportunities that arise whereby we can commit to our goal. For instance, if you are working on becoming more patient, the opportunity presents itself every time we are waiting for a bus that is late, or we are stuck behind someone idly walking when we are in a rush to get somewhere. If you are working on a new hobby, we must be open to the brief interludes where we can cultivate those skills instead of watching TV.
Change is a choice. When we are presented with these moments, we can choose to exercise our new commitments to ourself. When the phone rings from an ex-partner who we know is toxic for us, we can choose to cancel the call. When the pull to numb out and watch TV is so very powerful, we can choose to do something creative instead. When we feel like we want to avoid the difficult conversation, we can choose to brace ourselves for discomfort and ride the wave of communication.
Inevitably, we will not always hit the mark. We may give in and watch TV. We may answer that call. We may end up snapping at the late bus driver. But, so long as you remain aware, the beauty of change is that it will always present itself again with a new opportunity. You cannot go back and change the past but you can move forward and try again. Change is always generous with second chances.