Not Quite As Planned

Not Quite As Planned

Suddenly finding out that the on-foot messenger would not be available on one sunny day in the year 510 might have appeared quite unacceptable at the time. Today, a hiatus of several days can be overcome in minutes. That was not the case then. Much of our technology creates a sense of immediacy. We have forgotten that waiting is not, in and of itself, unacceptable.

The Internet is a fantastic tool for Real Estate, one that immediately expands the scope of knowledge and circle of influence of Realtors, sellers and buyers. With so much at the tip of our fingers, the notion of affecting quasi-instant results is no longer merely a notion. In many cases, it is reality, except when it is not. Sometimes, one must be willing to wait.

We have replaced the ox with sophisticated equipment and the running messenger with Instant Messaging. As time goes by, we see changes in practices. Tools are improved to better fit the task at hand and new tools are invented, inevitably, simply by virtue of our innate ingenuity. For progress tends to work in exponential ways and we are never quite satisfied by the current best thing, are we?!

Today is not any different than one thousand years ago. We are always technologically advanced compared to the previous decades. In this sense, being technologically advanced is irrelevant. We expect results from the tools and processes in place at any time in history. How we use these tools and how we respond when they are malfunctioning is due solely to our perception, which in turn is based on our expectations. We could develop the ability to telepathically create anything we need instantaneously; this would not change the fact that we now have a new process and expect it to work. The moment it fails ever so slightly – who knows, perhaps atmospheric pressure affects telepathic ability – we would likely jump to the same conclusion: This should work and it should work now because I need it now!”

“Modern” is ephemeral. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines “modern” as follows: of, relating to, or characteristic of the present or the immediate past… involving recent techniques, methods or ideas. In this sense, a technology or anything is modern for a brief moment, until the next best thing. So, assuming that a technology is at its best, and should therefore perform at its best, is an error in perception. Likewise, believing we are technologically advanced does not make any sense. What it does, however, is create frustration, because the moment we state and believe that we have reached a certain level of expertise, in any area, we develop expectations about results. More importantly, we develop expectations about consistency. That we are able to repeat a task with unfailing precision a thousand times over – such as accessing our Internet server at the touch of a button every day at 8:00 a.m. sharp – does not mean we have established consistency; it merely demonstrates an instance of consistency.

Once things are “fixed”, another frustration with another task or person or circumstance will arise to replace the first, which will be forgotten altogether. However, I am willing to bet that though the objects of our frustrations may be different from one century to the next, our responses are fairly consistent. All that changes are the tools and language. Maybe we need further advancement in the development of perception and tolerance.

Have you noticed how when you finally reach your goal everything seems to accelerate and fall into place at warp speed? Suddenly, all the waiting, all the obstacles and frustrations encountered along the way fade from memory and what remains is an acute awareness of the moment you have finally reached your goal. It stands out in full glory and the journey that led there becomes another fascinating story to share and remember. It is the substance of the moment. It is added to your wealth.

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