Push for Progress

Anything worth having is worth waiting for, worth working for. We need to be better at discerning the wants and needs that can be satisfied at the push of a button and the ones that need patience and care.
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There is an app called "Push for Pizza." The function of the app is exactly what the name suggestions it would be -- after you program your delivery address and payment information, you're one push away from a pizza at your doorstep.

Whether the app is crazy or brilliant, I have yet to decide. One thing is for sure -- it caters to a society that's becoming extremely accustomed to instant gratification. Remember the days of having to wait until you were by a computer to check your email? Or having to actually go to a bank to deposit a check? Or -- imagine -- go to the store to buy clothes? Thanks to the iPhone, some sophisticated banking apps, and fashion bloggers who make commission when you click to buy the products they're wearing, all of these tasks are made simple and quick.

I love technology. I love that I can check my bank statements on the go, or order the shoes I saw on KEEP with the tap of a button. After all, we're living in a culture of busy. We're always on the go, working towards our goals while simultaneously being attentive daughters, husbands, brothers, mothers, etc. An app that makes little things easier is fine by me.

But we've begun blurring the limits of this "push for results" concept. We've become so accustomed to these instant-results tools that when they aren't applicable, we become frustrated. We become restless. And most of all, start to blame ourselves and doubt our ability to achieve results.

We've so adopted the notion that so much of what the world has to offer should be available to us at a swipe or a tap that we've lost patience with ourselves. Why can't I tap to land a job? Why can't I swipe to advance? Why is there no "Push for Prince Charming" app? We start to feel like all of the things we want should be available at cyber-speed, and we internalize a perceived failure on our part when they're not.

We've stepped away from the idea that "good things come with time," and have started expecting and accepting that good things come at the tap of a button. We see it as a personal shortcoming if we can't produce results as quickly as an app can produce a pizza. We become discouraged and feel that our efforts are in vain.

This happens when we lose perspective. We've become moment-to-moment people because we are used to moment-to-moment gratification. In this moment, I need to deposit a check -- done. In this moment, I need to check my email -- done. So many of our wants and needs can be satisfied instantly with technology that we've discredited once comforting and familiar clichés like "Rome wasn't built in a day."

But that's the truth. Anything worth having is worth waiting for, worth working for. We need to be better at discerning the wants and needs that can be satisfied at the push of a button and the ones that need patience and care. That promotion you've been wanting or the recognition you've been searching for -- they don't have tap to order options. We need to step back and be okay in the quiet moments, making small steps towards big goals, all the while assuring ourselves that we are enough.

And my guess is that if you took yourself out of the moment of frustration and doubt, if you took a step back and gained better perspective, you would see movement. You would see progress and change, no matter how small. And any progress is good progress. But in order to acknowledge and appreciate this progress, we have to stop comparing human-speed to cyber-speed.

Instant gratification is instantly satisfying -- temporarily. But maybe we're giving too much favor to the things that can be done quickly. After all, isn't the most satisfying feeling of accomplishment the one that comes with an outpouring of effort and time? When we work, unwavering, and keep pushing towards what it is we want, we can not only enjoy satisfaction of achieving our goals, but of knowing we are strong enough to persevere and overcome. So push for pizza and get to work. There's a better kind of gratification waiting.

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