Our ancestors were deeply attuned to the seasons of the earth. They new when to plant seeds to harvest life sustaining vegetables and grains because they lived off the food they harvested from the seeds they planted.
For something to grow, a seed has to be planted in the dirt, underground, out of sight. The seed needs to be watered, but not over watered. It needs sunlight, but not too much sunlight. To harvest food from seeds, it takes patience and trust. You can care for it, fertilize it and protect it but you can’t speed up the process. The seed is going to grow at the natural rhythm of the earth. Our great ancestors understood this. They lived by this pace, this rhythm of the earth.
But in the past few hundred years humans invented machines. We invented cars and airlines that sped up our travel time. We invented telephones and the Internet. (The World Wide Web was invented 1990. That’s not that long ago!) At the same time that we’re learning much more about the world around us with access to unlimited information, we also began to get used to having access to information instantly.
As a culture, in the past 30 years we’ve gotten used to having almost everything we want instantly at our fingertips. Need a ride somewhere, just hit a button on your phone and you can have an Uber at your door in less than 5 minutes. Hungry for dinner? Hit another button on your phone to place a meal order online and your dinner will be delivered in under an hour. Need to order a birthday gift for someone? Hit a different button to place an order on Amazon, and you can have it delivered to you the next day. They’ve already got your credit card number saved in your profile. We’ve gotten used to having everything we want almost instantly, that we forget sometimes that we even have to pay for it.
Can you see how this instant culture “hit a button” mentality could impact your mindset on the volleyball court?
Can you see how getting instant results in every other area of your life, would make it more frustrating for you when improvement takes longer than you want?
You can’t just flip a switch or a hit a button to become the volleyball player that you want to be. You’ve got to put in the work, and make mistakes and learn to be patient.
But here’s the thing, when it comes to growth, real sustaining growth, you can’t just hit a button. There is no such thing as instant improvement in volleyball. Those players you lookup to on the national team invested time and did the hard work. That’s how you improve. That’s how you grow.
And one more thing, the reason why we’re so frustrated right now is because all the instant systems that we’re used to are being disrupted by a tiny virus. And so we’re being forced to time travel back to a time when nothing came instantly. We’re being forced to wait for in lines to enter a grocery a story that doesn’t have all our favorite products, and Amazon is out of stock and taking weeks to deliver. And so the “buttons” in our life our broken and “instant culture” is getting a glimpse of what it was like for our ancestors who knew what it meant to plant seeds and wait for food to grow.
Now is the season to plant. What seeds are you planting now?