A century ago, it took weeks to get from Europe to the US. Now we jump on a jet (private or commercial) and we're across the pond in hours, entertained by music, a movie or we simply sleep during the transit.
When I was young we had no cell phones and if somebody wanted to contact you instantly, they simply couldn't.
Today if my Internet speed isn't darned near "instant", I am vastly dissatisfied.
This is not a rant on the good old days and the bad life in 'the modern'.
It's about the need to discover what it is that we find valuable and to pursue it. Discovering that requires that we take the time to consider a great deal and it's necessary that we slow down the hectic pace of life to do that. You can still do it, but somehow it's harder today than it was a century ago because we've sped up everything and the planet runs captive to the 24 hour news cycle.
The breakneck speed of life that we're all now tied to will break not our necks, but our ability to decide what is valuable because of the speed with which we confront each decision matrix.
The next time you have a day off work or go on vacation, don't just turn off the cell phone -- leave it behind. Oh, I know that you simply CAN'T do that. But twenty years ago everyone didn't have one and somehow, they muddled through.