Delayed Gratification: FOCUS ON THE FUTURE – NOT THE PRESENT
After spending a lot of time in Buddhist countries and reading a lot about spirituality taught me to focus on the present with what’s happening right now! Well, OK I tried that… and sometimes it’s SOOOO IMPORTANT However, focusing on the future is important, if not more important.
Focusing on the present has it’s benefits. Sometimes it often misleads you to fulfill or chase your short term desires and cravings .
Just imagine yourself after a work out or long jog. Feeling hungry and looking at a restaurant window seeing an advertisement for a big steak with chips and gravy. Hmmmm… tempting and your hungry. Yet if you wait till you get home, maybe you could cook a cheaper, healthy alternative. And wash it down with a nice big glass of free cold water instead of Coke.
Being present may draw us to living and loving life. Focusing on the future however may draw us to living and loving a healthier, and more abundant life.
- Planning for your abundance.
Planning and envisioning what you really want 10 years from now is a sure way to help success flow into your life. If you already know what you want in life, wouldn’t you save a lot of time to start moving directly in that direction, or at least indirectly in that direction? For example, Do you want to have healthy fit lifestyle in 10 years time? Think about it… Personally, I don’t just want to be healthy and fit, I demand that I be healthy and fit. I will be! and I envision it! I see my self going rowing, cycling and jogging on a regular basis when I’m older.
- The 10,000 hours Theory
Some people say becoming really good at something takes 10 years of work. That is where 10,000 hour theory comes in. It is investing 3 hours a day to develop an expertise. 3 hours x 365 day x 10 years = 10,950 hours (I guess if you have a few days off every now and then 10,000 hours)
Do you want to be the leader in your current job? Or perhaps the leader in the industry? Do you spend extra time studying or becoming really good at something? What do you want to be excellent at? Is it inline with your craft and long term goal?
- 10,000 Hours of hard work = EXCELLENCE
Its not just 10,000 hours. Its 10,000 real hours. not 10,000 half-arsed working while talking on Facebook hours. Perhaps, even less hours of working/studying more effectively then the norm. Studies have also shown there is much more knowledge retained and skill developed by breaking up the hours into more workable chunks. I.e. 5 x 2 hour blocks are much more efficient than 1 x 10 hour block. For me, I do a 50 minute blocks of focused work with all distractions eliminated. After 50 minutes or perhaps a bit longer, I move and check my phone or something else. Then I move on to the next block.
Regular manageable blocks allow your skill, passion and mastery to develop. Imagine if you do blogging, writing, working out, investing, or a sport for 3 hours a day for 10 years. I am sure you would be excellent at it. (Make sure your time is spent doing something worth being excellent at).
- Delayed gratification
Lastly, the skill of delayed gratification is one of the ultimate keys to success. Without delayed gratification, one simply cannot achieve true success. Delayed gratification is the planting of the seeds. Its the patience to wait till the fruit is ready to be picked. They say money doesn’t grow on trees, well that’s funny, because fruit certainly does and some fruit isn’t cheap.
Delayed gratification takes many forms. In romance, waiting till the third date for that first kiss. In education, saying no to paid work to study for higher paid, more rewarding work later. In health, using the stairway instead of the elevator. In business, going the extra mile.
Planning ahead, persistence, self-discipline and the ability to delay gratification are the keys to the brightest future you could possibly dream of. Good thing comes to those who put in the hard yards and are patient. However, we should be careful we put in the hard yards in the right direction. And, make that YOUR DIRECTION, not your employers.
Have a great day and feel free to share your thoughts below.