You like burritos, right? Of course you do! They’re tasty, you can have them any way you like, and they’re pretty easy to make (especially if someone else does it for you). What do burritos have to do with Americans? Americans supposedly invented them, firstly, and we should easily be able to see why. Americans like things that are tasty, are made to their own specifications and they like things done QUICKLY.
On my way home last night, I saw the sign “El Fast Burrito.” Wait, what? El Burrito wouldn’t have been ‘fast’ enough?? Okay, so not only do we have gobs of fast food restaurants, but now we’re adding the word fast in the title? As if it wasn’t fast enough already?
No, this is not a knock on fast food, but let’s agree to a few things: 1) It’s convenient 2) It’s cheap (or cheaper) 3) It’s not of the highest quality – yet Americans love it.
Why? Americans love convenience; we LOVE it. When Americans want something they want it immediately. They want it quickly, the way they want it, and they want it now. This can relate to fast food, to success in a career, to meeting the “right” person, or when trying to lose weight. Americans want things to happen now.
Instant gratification. Now. Not two years, months, weeks, or even two minutes from now. Think of every time you’re driving, waiting in line for something, or getting ready in the morning. What are you doing? You’re hurrying. You’re trying to make the next stop light, drive a few miles faster per hour, get home sooner, because we have the idea that those extra few seconds or minutes make a difference. Do they? Do they really make a difference?
What if you spent those few moments simply thinking about where you were; or took a moment to just check in with yourself? How are you? What’s your current state of mind? What emotions or thoughts are running through your mind? What’s around you? Are you tired? Are you hungry (maybe for a burrito)? What do you smell, see, feel, hear?
Answering those few questions brings you back to the moment- the one you’re in. Not the two seconds, minutes, weeks, months or years after.
Being in a hurry not only distracts us from the enjoyment of the our actual lives, but it creates more demanding expectations. Get there faster, make more money, lose more weight, quit eating crappy foods, look prettier. Um, none of those things happen in two seconds, most not two weeks or months, but maybe 2 years.
It takes a LONG time for many things to happen, and you know what? That’s OKAY.
It takes time for things to change — as it should. The things that require the most patience are often the most gratifying in the end. If we stop setting unrealistic goals for ourselves and instead start appreciating the “extra” time we would have in our lives if we just stopped to really live for a few moments, then we would start getting somewhere.
I teach yoga, work in the fitness industry and I am also a social worker- based on these 3 things that I am/do, I know this: Things take time. You cannot get into the most difficult yoga pose in 2 minutes, you cannot lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks (and if you are, you’re in trouble), and you might not move on from a significant life change in two months. And it’s okay.
Habits take time; change takes time. Your life is made up of time. It’s how you choose to manage the time that impacts your end goal and defines the process.
The next time you find yourself impatient, wherever you are, ask yourself if you truly need to be in such a hurry. Might you be able o slow down juuust a bit? Is it really that important that you hurry? Really, is it?
When you pass the next El Burrito, go inside, order your burrito — yes, just the way you like it — but take the time to sit down and eat it. Don’t take it to go, don’t rush out to the car. Just sit and eat. Be the American taking the time to enjoy its awesomeness.
Oh, and here’s some free yoga 🙂