If you’re lacking in knowledge of Ted Talk history, Simon Sinek created the 3rd most viewed speech. The video I watched in particular, addresses the millennial generation – those born roughly after 84. He notes how many of us grew up in a belief system of being told we can have anything we want. How the loser of a race can win a medal. A concept emphasising everyone’s a winner. Until we get to the real world and discover our mistakes don’t win medals; we can’t just say what we want and boom it appears.
Instant gratification – having anything we want
From a young age, I witnessed instant gratification. Parents producing their kids homework for them; creating their artwork so they come first. Even at such an age, I knew this was wrong. After a life being sheltered, kids grow up not knowing how to manage. Now with social media and an obsession with phones, there’s a melting pot spewing no coping mechanisms.
Sinek pointed out today’s demand for instant gratification. We can receive what we want in a matter of moments. You want a date – just swipe right, you want a film – just watch Netflix. You can binge on box sets and no longer wait for the next episode to arrive. And when you feel insecure or you’re lacking attention, head to social media and upload a photo. Go to your phone and message a friend.
The world of speed and technology might make our lives easier, though the price we pay is that our tough mentalities are lost. You might be sitting there and thinking that this idea is over generalised. But I see this all the time. I see it with bloggers.
How many create a blog and then wait a month or two before they begin to complain. Writing it’s hard and their losing motivation. How many bloggers will look at a successful one, and attempt to copy with expectations they’ll achieve the same results. “Oh this blogger posts loads of behind-the-scenes and it works, so I’m going to post behind-the scenes”
Some emulate popular blogs and still see no difference in growth. They don’t have the successful bloggers following. And then they get mad and desire to give up. Likewise with Instagram, people try to mimick the pages doing well. If it fails, they’ll say ‘I don’t like Instagram’. They move on and try something else.
Results without work
There is a laziness epidemic; expecting the world without really trying. Realising a month in – “hang on a sec, I can’t just get money. Blogging is actually tiring and it takes time“. People often want answers without figuring it out for themselves.
I’m an accomplished blogger; it launched my writing career, however I’m not living off my blog. Yet others will ask me how I got here. Oblivious it took 5 months before I had any repeat readers coming back. After going self-hosted, I went from a hundred new followers a week and thousands of views a month, to minus ten followers a week and scraping below fifty views a day.
I didn’t throw in the towel and have a breakdown. I didn’t lose drive. Instead I kept going and months later my views are shooting back up. Although, I’m not perfect. I let myself become victim to the instant gratification effect. I nearly closed my Facebook page after a few weeks from a lack of popularity. People typically notice the results and not the process. They see someone at the top of a mountain not climbing; wishing to stand at the top with them. They want the solution without the journey. Only taking interest once they see the end results.
Being too engaged
Sinek said our constant engagement won’t deliver ideas. He spoke of phone addiction. Our phones are besides us as we sleep; we check them upon waking and mindlessly scroll in public when we feel awkward. I have a terrible habit of reaching for my mobile whenever I feel anxious. Rather than dealing with my issues, I conceal them with a device. When I struggle to communicate – there is my phone.
The more engaged we are, the less we have to assort our feelings. Similarly, if you break up with a partner, you no longer have to crave them. You can immerse yourself in social investigation work (stalking), and a piece of them gets to stay in your life.
When my long distance boyfriend moved away and stopped giving me his time, I began sending explicit photos. Miraculously he quickly responded. I knew it was about sex and my body, yet I kept doing it. Because he gave me a form of attention, regardless that it didn’t make me happy. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll log on social media and read a list of complimentary comments. The last significant point I learnt from Sinek, the chemical dopamine is proven to trigger whenever we get a response. Our devices provide temporary, highly addictive relief.
There are copious factors in our lives giving us instant gratification. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t solely rely on desires. The world doesn’t owe us anything; doing what you dream is a privilege. Blogging is a privilege, readership is a privilege. What right do any of us have to demand clear-cut answers?
Working out is a privilege and so too is career success. It doesn’t matter how the superficial online world is shown. It’s irrelevant that so-and-so has this or has that. As a generation, many of us fail trying to take short cuts. It’s the moments when you want to give up that shape who we become.
Walt Disney repeatedly failed. Imagine if he had thrown his plans away and complained animation is too hard. Walked away because other animators have reached the top younger and faster. Instant gratification is great when your pizza arrives fast and your clothes arrive the next day. But with your ambition, love and life, there’s more to it than that.
How do you feel about instant gratification?
If you loved this post read: Why is there No Valuable Content