It’s no wonder, then, that when it comes to our health, relationships and careers, we often become overwhelmed and frustrated with slow progress.
In this world of instant gratification, we wonder why our larger goals can’t also be achieved overnight? Where’s ‘Netflex’ when I need it? ‘Insta-family?’ ‘Amazon Promotion?’
Patience is something we’ve all been forced to become reacquainted with this past year as we’ve waited for a return to normality, a vaccine, travel, seeing loved ones... the list goes on. As Men’s Health readers this has perhaps been a little easier for you than it has been for others. You’re accustomed to the wait, the journey, and the process inherent in achieving a desired outcome.
You’re also someone who values goals and recognises that their achievement is fleeting, a moment in time. It’s the process that consumes us.
My grandma used to say of golf, “Any shot closer to the hole is a good shot”. This was often uttered after I shanked a drive, or sent a clump of fairway further than my Titleist. But she was right. Slow progress is still progress. Through work and dedication, where you are now is not where you will be.
If instant success were possible – abs on demand or the corner office by lunch – the satisfaction would be similarly shortlived. At most a ping of dopamine, rather than a reward. Which begs the question: is an outcome truly valuable without having been on the journey? Or is it simply... desirable?
It’s difficult not to get caught up in the hype of instant results. Blame social media, or the media in general, but it’s the end result we often project to the world, rather than the journey. It’s easier to look at the heroes of health and fitness and assume their success has been achieved overnight. But although the subjects of this issue – Joe Wicks (p16), KJ Apa (p64) and our sporting GOATs (p126) – may all appear to be instant success stories, heroes emerging from obscurity fully formed, this would be a lazy assumption that ignores the years, even decades, of hard work and toil required to reach the top.
My own advice heading into this issue is to identify your goals, commit to them and enjoy the process of chasing them down . . . something Team MH experienced firsthand on p72.
Have patience and forgive yourself for not having everything you want right now. Because although in 2021 good things can be acquired by anyone, great things come to those prepared to immerse themselves in the journey, and wait.
The May 2021 issue of Men's Health Australia goes on sale Thursday April 8th.