Why are some people so successful? How does someone repeatedly achieve what they’re after, no matter what obstacle comes their way? It really boils down to one thing: Giving up immediate pleasure, instant gratification, for long term satisfaction.
Do I want to eat that cookie? Hell yes I do. But I also want to PR my Split Jerk tomorrow. Which thought wins out? Which action will I take?
Option 1, I eat the cookie and feel short term joy. My taste buds are happy, I get a burst of energy via a sugar high and I feel great for about 5 minutes. Then I regret my decision almost instantly as my blood sugar crashes and I realize I’ve sabotaged myself.
Option 2, I postpone the instant pleasure for the deep seeded satisfaction of achieving something I’ve been working towards. There is no instant gratification that compares to the feeling of accomplishment that accompanies achieving a long term goal.
We all know accomplishing something really hard that we’ve been working toward for weeks or months is by far the better reward. So why do we continue to take the 5 minute high and undermine our real goals?
At least do yourself the favor of thinking of the second and third order consequences. Is the cookie REALLY worth it? Maybe….Maybe not.