The Problem With Instant And Why You Will Never Succeed

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

I have a problem, I have no patience. I need things right this second. I ask a question, I want a response. Type in a URL, I want the site to load in under a half second. Put forth an idea, I want to see the success. I struggle with waiting for anything. And if you are like me you should not feel alone, because we live in a society of instant.

Here is where this starts to become a problem, instant doesn’t always mean best.

There is a lot of discussion about being the first. First to read a blog, first to respond, first to discover a band, first to find a new tech product, first to this first to that. We are all racing to be first. Here is what I have discovered about this race, it is a scheme, a well devised strategy that allows us to hide behind the race. We race to be first because we don’t want to be last.

I cannot tell you how many times I have told someone that I want to write a book, speak at a conference, create an iPhone app, or visit Ireland. Why do I want to do these things? Because others that I view as “successful” are doing these things. They are writing, creating, and producing things that I want to do. So I get on my racing shoes (no, not those creepy five toe glove looking shoes) and start to run to try and get at their pace. I start working on a “dream” I mean project, even work up a proposal. I start running until I realize that I am not prepared to finish the race. I look around and see how everyone else around me is in better shape, they have better stamina, and better strategy. Simply put, I quit because I am not a good enough runner.

We are all sprinting to catch up but really we are sprinting so we can quit

If we truly believed in what we are doing we would be in no rush or race to finish. We would be okay to let it sit for a couple of months, years or decades (just ask Ben Arment when he got the idea for the Story Conference and how long he waiting to do it). But in a society of instant it is not acceptable to sit on the sidelines or wait. You have to be running at a Usain Bolt speed. Unfortunately, most of us have not been preparing for this sprint or even marathon, instead we have been watching.

Think about the first time you played golf, ice skated, or went water skiing. There probably was a lot of failure involved before success.

If you truly believed in your dream you would be okay with however long it took to come to fruition. You would be okay to sit on the sidelines training, practicing and growing. You would be okay with it being curated and squeezed rather then be completed. Because dreamers need to be more like marathon runners then sprinters.

So how long are you willing to wait on your dream?


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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • Jason Vana

    AMAZING POST Kyle! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve wanted my dream and I’ve wanted it NOW. But we don’t follow a God of the instant. He takes His time, preparing us, molding us, changing us. In just about every story in the bible, there were years before a promise or dream was fulfilled. The same will be true for us.

    I loved this post – and desperately needed to be reminded of it today. Thank you!

    • Kyle Reed

      Thank you for your words of reminder. I have to tell myself this every single day…its a marathon Kyle not a sprint

  • Stephen Lynch

    I’m not willing to wait on my dreams. However, I am willing to give my dreams time to develop, take on definition, and find the purpose behind them. It’s tricky when we choose goals as dreams; we spend more time chasing and less time completing.

    But I want to make time for my dreams every day. I love the different terms people have coined : hustling, doing work, clicks on the wheel. If we wait on our dreams, we’re letting fear of failure limit us.

    Great post – Acuff’s Quitter is stirring up lots of great discussion.

    • Kyle Reed

      nice stuff homey, I agree. The dream is there now it is time to continue to develop and grow them.

  • Sam

    I think its techinically AN Usain Bolt speed. tsk tsk.

    • Kyle Reed

      grammar is not my strength, in fact it is a thorn in my flesh. But I will change that. Thanks man. And I got your email and have now responded. Lets do this thing

  • Dave

    Kyle, you’re right on the money. It appears as though all I’ve learned in the last 5 years is how to jump back and forth from twitter to facebook to blogs, only to find out that I had originally sat down to record some of my thoughts.

    There is something to be said for endurance and patience. Quiet reflection seems to be a lost art in our connected (although increasingly disconnected) world.

    Your words were timely today, good sir.

    • Kyle Reed

      Thanks Dave.

      I have to go back and reflect on them daily because I do the same, i jump back and forth on what I want to do, who I want to be. But I think there is a key there, I have to start looking at my identity first and who I am in God.

  • ThatGuyKC

    Great job calling out the misguided obsession with instant. I would add that it is a balance of training and action. If you always sit on the sideline watching you run the risk of never actually DOING anything.

    • Kyle Reed

      exactly. You have to move but you have to move in a way that is with great diligence and patience.