Life is not an “Instant coffee”

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This was the title of a comprehension passage in my English exam.

Reading Time: 2 Minutes*                                                     300* Words/Minute

A piano teacher described an interesting encounter she had with a young lady who came to inquire about music lessons. The young lady asked her, “How long will this course take? My father told me that it is in fashion now to be able to play musical instruments and that I should learn one quickly. I want something that will be quick, fast and easy” When the amused teacher explained that it would take a lifetime of meticulous practice to learn music, her face fell and, needless to say, she never came back.

The single most important factor that distinguishes those of us who succeed in any venture and those of us who don’t is this ‘instant coffee’ attitude. Most of us want results quickly. We want to reach the top immediately and get worked up when things go wrong. Perseverance and patience are forgotten words. We get upset, frustrated and angry when a skill or activity requires us to put in a lot of effort and time. We get dejected and want to give it up. Things should be easy. Why should things take long? It is unfair!

Life is too short and there is not enough time to do all the things we want to. We tend to compare with others and get upset when they seem to be doing well; dismissing their achievement as pure luck, or think that they have support, help, approach, and that God is being too kind to them and not to us. And so we give up. But such thinking serves no good. For, it doesn’t solve the problem. Life is tough for those with the ‘instant coffee’ attitude.

Success and happiness come to those who have a ‘bread-making’ attitude. Those who are willing to knead the dough, wait for hours for it to rise, only to punch it down and knead some more, wait for another couple of hours for it to rise again, then bake it before it is ready to be eaten. Nothing is instantaneous. For every Endeavor – whether in the area of career, academic, music sports, relationships, physical fitness, or even in spirituality – it is a long arduous journey.

Only if we are willing to put in the time, painstaking effort and have faith can we get results. If we don’t accept this difficult – but – true fact of life, our lives will be far from being happy and fulfilling. For we may not make that extra effort which can change the course of life dramatically, for the good.

I often come across clients who have changed therapists – and do that even after they have spoken with me – because they are on the lookout for a therapist who will instantly give them relief from their problems. One who will ensure that by the time they reach home from the therapist’s office, they will have wonderfully, fulfilling relationships with their families! No wonder, most of us get bitter and disillusioned with life and ourselves and look for escape routes which seem to promise quick result.

The major problems with these ‘instant coffee’ solutions are that they are invariably short-lived. If we stubbornly refuse to give up this search for quick solutions, all we do is end up on the working track. We never gain anything lasting form them. However, if we just pause to analyse what we are doing, we will realize how much time we are wasting searching for such magical solutions which simply do not exist. We actually save time when we stop this futile search and accept the proven methods of trading the straight and narrow, however difficult it may seem initially.

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2 thoughts on “Life is not an “Instant coffee”

  1. “Life is too short and there is not enough time to do all the things we want to. We tend to compare with others and get upset when they seem to be doing well; dismissing their achievement as pure luck, or think that they have support, help, approach, and that God is being too kind to them and not to us. And so we give up. But such thinking serves no good. For, it doesn’t solve the problem. Life is tough for those with the ‘instant coffee’ attitude”

    I just loved this whole paragraph!

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