Sarah Grace Goolden
Whether it be a new diet, exercise routine or study habit, I think most everyone has come to a point of utter frustration when one puts in work and doesn’t immediately get the results they want. This need for instant gratification and unrealistic change might put people off but it really shows us an important tool for self-growth and highlights a huge problem in our modern culture.
We’ve all been there. Suddenly, the urge to get healthy and score a “summer body” is ignited inside us and we rush to the gym or the farmers market. Before a big test or project at work, we focus all our energy into producing something amazing. A new hobby might consume all our time. Whatever it is, at some point, we’ve put our all into something and been wildly disappointed in the outcome. I know I expect abs the second day I go to the gym, which is not how the human body functions. However, even though I know that, it may seem like all the work that was put in was useless but it definitely was not.
The thing about change is that it requires time, effort and patience, which are things many of us don’t have. The truth is if you want to see real change you have to work hard for a long time. That means going vegan for a week is not going to shed pounds and pulling an all-nighter won’t score you an A in a course. The effort you put into something needs to be continuous and genuine. For example, if you constantly cheat on your diet, you can’t expect it to work. In the end, you’re only cheating yourself out of the results you want.
Why are we so obsessed with this instant change? Why is it so hard to wait for all our hard work to pay off? We live in a world of instant everything. Thousands of movies and shows await us on our TV’s, phones and computers. In an era of UberEats and GrubHub, we don’t even have to leave our house to get a prepared meal. When I want to talk to someone, my text pops up on their phone as soon as I click “send.” Because of this, we have developed this irrational hatred of waiting. I’m just as guilty of it as anyone else. Waiting in long lines is excruciating and I hate finishing a series and not instantly having access to the next season. It’s an unfortunate byproduct of all of the technological advances we have the privilege of experiencing.
I think patience is such an underrated tool that will help us in so many aspects. It’s important to be patient to our friends and families, strangers and most importantly, ourselves. Often we feel dejected and disappointed when we set our mind to something and don’t see it magically transform in under a week. We need to give ourselves time to achieve our goals. In the long run, it not only makes these concrete changes but can also change your attitude.