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Are You the Tortoise or the Hare?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Are You the Tortoise or the Hare?

Why too much hurry hurts.
Robert Holden Ph.D.
Robert Holden Ph.D. More by this author
Aug 30, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Destination Addiction makes people feel as though they should always be further ahead of where they are now. They constantly fear they are not progressing fast enough with their lives. They believe they are “running behind” with their careers, their commutes, and their schedules. They are always chasing the next goal, by the next birthday, by the next whatever. They are hypercritical and are forever “should-ing” on themselves—“I should be further in my career by now,” “I should have gotten married by now,” or “I should have achieved more by now.”

Destination Addiction causes us to be permanently impatient with ourselves. The schedule we set for ourselves is so demanding that we end up driving ourselves harder and faster. We refuse to forgive ourselves if we cannot keep up. Our diaries are so full we will not give ourselves ten minutes in the day. “In your patience possess ye your souls,” reads the Gospel of Luke (21:19). But we are too impatient for success, so we promise to catch up with ourselves somewhere up ahead. We press on, and we lose touch with ourselves. We keep going, and we leave ourselves behind.

We have no time for ourselves, and we are permanently impatient with everyone else. We are a society of fast impressions. If a relationship does not develop fast enough, we drop it. If a person cannot speak in sound bites, we “tune out.” If people do not get to the point quickly, we make their point for them. If a relationship hits trouble, it is difficult to trust it has any further value. We are uncomfortable with pauses in conversations. We often interrupt conversations to get to the end faster. We need to move on.

We are permanently impatient because we are addicted to the pursuit of progress. What is progress? According to Destination Addiction, to progress is to move along a timeline from “here” to “there” as quickly as possible. But to what end? Impatience impedes real progress if the focus is only on getting to the future faster. Real progress is a real-time goal that is about the here and now—living well today, being more present, caretaking this moment, and enjoying the time of your life.

Real progress is not living life faster; it is about living life better. We are often impatient because we do not know the value of patience. In fact, we may be afraid of patience, for we fear that patience means deferment, forfeit, or loss. Sometimes, however, patience is opportunity. Patience helps us to be more receptive and more deeply engaged and to find the treasure at the spot on the map marked “here.” Patience keeps us in the moment longer, and we are thereby better able to welcome grace and good fortune on our journey.

About Author
Robert Holden Ph.D.
Robert Holden Ph.D.’s innovative work on psychology and spirituality has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, a PBS show called Shift Happens! and a major BBC documentary called How to Be Happy, shown in 20 countries to o Continue reading