The Convenience epidemic!Right now we are living in a culture of convenience. In fact most of the choices in life which we make are based on how convenient a particular course of action is. But somewhere we are forgetting that that nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved by taking the Easy way out! Yes that is what convenience is all about.
I want to share with you a recent experience I had with somebody who by his own admission wasn’t feeling very happy. He said I try to do everything that I read in feel god books still I do not feel happy.
As we started discussing various things in order to zero in on the source of unhappiness I noticed that he was using the term convenience way too often. It seemed that the entire life of his was driven by convenience. From food to relationships everything was totally comfort and convenience driven. And even to my surprise this emerged as the key factor which was compromising his happiness. Yes this was the shocking discovery that too much of convenience ultimately damages you in very serious ways.
What is convenience?
Going by definition “Convenience is anything that saves or simplifies work, adds to one’s ease or comfort”
In other words it something that saves you physical, mental or emotional effort. And for the sake of saving some effort in other words increasing convenience we do a lot of things which are not good for us. Here are some of these things which result from convenience epidemic,and Boy, do they sound familiar?
- Eating easy, fast or junk food in place of healthy food.
- Giving up habits like stepping out to pick vegetables or groceries in favour of home delivery.
- Choosing easy things over things which require effort like watching TV in place of reading or writing.
- Becoming passive rather than active and not taking initiative in small as well as significant matters like every day work to stepping in to make life easier for others like helping the needy with effort. Instead we simply choose to donate money.
- Gradually giving up responsibilities like taking care of people around us on pretext that they can take care of themselves. A classic example is when we started by going to pick family members from Airport or station and then moving onto booking cabs and finally leaving it to themselves to reach our homes. This happens a lot in bigger cities.
- Replacing personal interactions with phone or virtual interactions like Facebook twitter etc.
- Avoid conveying difficult news or conveying it with dilution instead of being direct about it.
- Lot of times choosing to sweep a problem under the rug rather than address it head-on.
- Keeping expectations low rather than set goals which “push the envelope”
- Look the other way rather than raise your voice against unethical behaviour.
- Point fingers at others rather than admit a mistake and learn precious lesson.
- Be part of the herd instead of remaining true to our beliefs and values.
- Distribute resources equally rather than set priorities and make tough choices.
- Encourage dependency rather than provide people with good opportunities as well as the tools to succeed.
Let us now look at some scientific research on why hard work and effort is essential for Happiness
Anne Frank said: “Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.”
The habit of choosing effort serves you in good stead all your life!
A new study from MIT reveals that babies as young as 15 months can learn to follow this advice. The researchers found that babies who watched an adult struggle at two different tasks before succeeding tried harder at their own difficult task, compared to babies who saw an adult succeed effortlessly.
Although the study took place in a laboratory setting, the findings may offer some guidance for parents who hope to instil the value of effort in their children, the researchers say.
“There’s some pressure on parents to make everything look easy and not get frustrated in front of their children,” says Laura Schulz, a professor of cognitive science at MIT. “There’s nothing you can learn from a laboratory study that directly applies to parenting, but this does at least suggest that it may not be a bad thing to show your children that you are working hard to achieve your goals.”
Putting in the effort
Many recent studies have explored the value of hard work. Some have found that a person’s persistence, or “grit,” can predict success above and beyond what IQ predicts. Other studies have found that people’s beliefs regarding effort also matter: Those who think putting in effort leads to better outcomes do better in life than those who believe success depends on a fixed level of intelligence.
Obviously taking initiatives, being proactive and saying goodbye to lethargy and inertia is tremendously satisfying in the long run. Here are the TOP three areas of life which really really get damaged by becoming habitual of convenience and being affected by the convenience culture.
- Health: On two counts eating fast food and reducing physical activity simply due to convenience.
- Growth: Personal growth whether in terms of career or a human being really depends on how much effort you are putting in to yourself. Learning, setting difficult goals, facing challenges all lead to growth. So next time just get out of that convenience mode in favour of effort.
- Relationships: Your relationships can really go for a toss if you keep waiting for the most convenient way or the most comfortable time to do something for somebody. Whether it’s a friend or family choose the person above the convenience for lasting great relationships. It’s good fun to go out of the way and take trouble for other!
All these three areas are proven by research to be crucial for happiness, so chuck that remote, stop ordering pizza and get moving to experience real joy.
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