The Culture of Convenience

“A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” – Charles Darwin 

On any given day of the week, I ask Alexa to add vegan protein powder to my Amazon cart or I ask Siri to text my assistant to rearrange my week’s calendar. I have a pulse sensor hooked to my iPhone to monitor my physical and mental stress (and then either rest or push harder depending on the reading). And my wife orders the majority of our groceries online (got to love Thrive Market and Prime Pantry!). In the winter, I remote start my car (which is perfectly programmed to exactly the temperature I like). When traveling, I save two minutes by taking an Uber rather than a taxi. I use EZ Pass (yes, even when I don’t have the EZ Pass for that state because I’d rather pay a $4 fine then slow down!). I shave even more time off airport security by using kiosks and pre-check so I don’t have to wait in line. I live firmly in the culture of convenience and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We literally have almost anything we could want at the tap of a screen on our iPhones. I hate waiting and I hate wasting time. I will continue to automate (and optimize) as many areas of my life as possible to buy time in order to experience more of life!

This isn’t a new phenomenon, just something that is more evident today because of how rapidly we are innovating and automating (and talking and sharing about it on social media). Back in the days of the cave men, once they learned how to make fire – their lives leveled up. Instead of spending hours and days searching for food and nutrients, they learned how to cook and preserve food, so their time spent hunting and gathering evolved into time spent learning, making better weapons, communicating, socializing, strategically finding better hunting grounds, and thinking, which led to more innovating. That is when man’s mind evolved. We are on the cusp of another social [re]evolution.

And this time, it’s all about time. Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” I say, a minute saved is a minute invested into the progressive realization of humans as spiritual beings. I know, I know. Let me dial back the “woo-woo” a bit.

This culture of convenience we live in is all about buying time. Some might call this cultural shift towards automation and instant gratification lazy, impatient, entitled, or attach some other negative connotation to it. But that’s not really the point. Sure, I’m impatient and don’t want to spend time fighting the crowds at the grocery store (hence why I will either outsource my grocery shopping to a local service or simply order groceries online). But it’s more than that. It’s not just about NOT doing something I don’t want to do. It’s about spending that hour working on a new business idea, making breakfast for my wife, writing content for my book or blog, or swimming with my kids instead.

Time is the greatest gift. Time to spend on what is most important to you. If you love grocery shopping. Awesome! Automate or outsource another area of your life so you get to spend time doing what you enjoy, something that will make a positive impact on your life, your family, your business, and your community. The culture of convenience is not about stagnation and the status quo, but about leveraging technology to buy time in order for us to grow as individuals and as a society.

Companies like Hello Fresh, Amazon, and Uber have it right. These services allow us to measure our days in minutes and maximize our time for maximum results. As these, and more companies grow, we’ll continue to have more time in our day. Enjoy it and embrace, but choose how you use that gift of time wisely. If done right, you’ll evolve and grow. Done incorrectly and you’re stuck in mediocrity. When you have more time, you will be able to think more, learn more, exercise more, knit more, and simply have more “you” time. After all, isn’t that the point? To stop doing the things that are necessary, but monotonous, and spend more time on experiencing life your way? In order to have more spiritual growth through experiences, then we need more time to have more experiences! It is a beautiful, virtuous cycle if we embrace it.

The world is changing. You can either evolve as a person (in your company, your career, your marriage, your life) or you will be forced out or left behind. It’s natural selection in action. Where will you be on the other side of history?

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