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Why can’t we have one-minute abs?

Nowadays, we like things fast: food, cars, cashless-transactions. We break speed limits, double computing capacity and tolerate the “rolling-stop” at intersections. Direct deposit, fast lane, early boarding, instant download, delivery by drone. Good things come to those who won’t wait, right?

Not always.

Recently I was watching a television show where a couple makes the most important investment in their lives by choosing from three not-perfect-fitting homes in thirty minutes. The entertainment formula: Couple asks agent to find them completely opposite things, on an impossible budget, as soon as possible. Like magic, they find their perfect home in just enough time to neatly include three commercial breaks about instant house valuations, one-day renovations and one-hour bathtubs.

Except this time, there was a surprise ad that was un-real.

Amongst all the instant-ness of reality real estate tv, someone produced an honest ad. It was hopeful and funny and truthful about reality of buying and selling a home. In the guise of a public service announcement, it spoofed the entire genre of real estate-tv, as an announcer said:

“The home buying process is a process. It’s not a perfect 30 minutes where the perfect family is shown three achingly perfect homes… That’s TV. Enjoy it…. When it’s time to really buy a home…”

I jumped off the couch in joy!

I still believe the best things, the important things, the things that matter in life take time. Taking our time is not a bad thing: We plan weddings for a year. We plan surgery for weeks. We spend hours at dinner with friends. Summer vacation takes a week. Maybe it should take a month!

It’s time to reclaim the value and beauty of time.

We can define our relationship to time, apart from the speed of technology.
We can choose when to go fast, and when to go slow.
We might be surprised to rediscover how much we like taking our time.

Yes, lots of things benefit from speed. But time isn’t an enemy, to be defeated by efficiency or rapidity or electrons. It’s the place and space and span in which we live life, make big decisions and achieve our dreams. When we rush we make mistakes. We miss our exit. We pick the wrong product. We listen to the wrong advice. Let’s not reduce every worthwhile conversation to a TED-Talk.

Life is more than Instagrammable moments.

Think about how you can be more real about time, with yourself, peers, friends and clients, too. Remember that what people most want from us – need with us – isn’t just a cheaper, faster, sooner process.

Maybe they just want to spend time with us.
Time the consider well-spent.

It’s time to move beyond life as reality tv.