Impatience, the road to anxiety

Impatience is all about not being able to relax into the present moment, not being able to live in the now. Impatience is about wanting the future in the present. It could be that we are in a queue and feel ourself getting angry with those people that we see as holding the queue up. We want to do it now and just can’t wait for the process, whatever it is, to complete. Impatience also becomes the mother of intolerance as we develop a short fuse in our frustration.

The one thing that we know from mindfulness is that when we become focussed on the future and cease to be in the present we develop anxiety. Whereas some people may be looking to the future with fear. Maybe they do not like flying and a holiday is coming ever closer and the closer it gets the more anxious they become. It could be that someone is due to have an operation or have a serious illness and they fear what will happen next. When we become impatient we are using exactly the same part of our system. It all comes down to wanting or needing the future in the present. And, guess what? You can’t have it. It does not matter how much you jump up and down, shout, scream or have a hissy fit, the future will only get to you when it is ready. The queue will not magically disappear.

We also know that when we begin to focus on time it goes very slowly. We say that…

…a watched pot never boils.

The more that we want it now, the more that we demand it now, the longer it seems to take. The massive explosion of fast feed diners and delivery services is because we have lost the patience to wait for our food to be cooked, we want it now.

People get fed up when a website will not open immediately and they shout at the computer, failing to realise how much faster their current computer is compared to their previous one. The whole computer process that delivers everything at the touch of a button can make us lazy. Why spend the time to look something up in a dictionary when you can use google. Why bother waste your time pressing the buttons to access Google when Alexa or Siri will find it for you without you moving nothing more than your tongue.

As a society it would seem that we are becoming more demanding, less tolerant, more critical and less patient year on year. This is ultimately to out detriment.

We are hunter gathers. Each day, throughout evolution, we had to learn new skills to grow and evolve. We know that people that stop using their. brains and stop learning lose brain cells and that new brain cells only come about in response to new learning. 

As we move towards driverless cars, automated farming and food production, and endless free time we find that the human brain is becoming more and more Autistic. As we hunker down in our flats and houses allowing the machine to do everything for us we become diminished. There must come a point, that when we no longer do things for ourselves, that the meaning of our very existence has to be called into question? I think that negative, critical, selfish, intolerant, impatience will lead to our downfall.

I vote for getting off our backsides and re-engaging in the world and with other people. Coming out of our silos and keeping automation at a point where it is helpful and not destructive. 

If we could just become a little more mindful, less intolerant and more patient the world would be a much happier place to live in.

Take care and be happy

Sean x