Commentary · Uncategorized

Good for Now or Better Later?

In the middle of my second set of dumbbell presses it occurred to me that most of us walk the line between what’s good now or better later…

Let me explain: Take working out for instance benefits aren’t immediately seen — Which is why so many people who have gym memberships don’t show. The difference ┬áis the people in the gym are working to be better later while the no-shows are distracted with television, Facebook or eating something yummy (good now).

This got me to thinking about the difference between highly successful individuals, those of us in the middle and the struggling. My guess is there is a correlation to success and delaying gratification. Working long hard hours at developing or studying a skill and having a clear vision of a goal. We all had friends in school who study long and hard gave up partying and extracurricular activities for excellent grades. Which earned them scholarships and a bigger choice in schools. Then there were those of us “average” students who had a balanced social and academic life and we got good enough grades to get into decent schools. Finally there were those who didn’t bother at all and landed in less than ideal circumstances. I realize I’m painting with a broad brush and there are exceptions to all of these situations. However I do believe there is credence to this thought.

My own life for example; In the above scenario I’m student two, average to above average grades with little or no effort on my part. The same was true for my nursing education. It wasn’t until martial arts and learning to train for something tangible like a black belt did I start developing the appreciation for delayed gratification.

Fast forward thirty plus years later and I’m careful about my diet, maintaining a weight between 125lbs and 130lbs at the age of sixty. I continue to train six to seven days a week, with running, cycling, walking, weight training, yoga, and of course martial arts. I’ve developed a firm belief in my health first before anything and anyone else. That’s my long view. I still indulge now and again but I’m back to my routine the next day.

Here’s the funny thing about those of us with a long view, most people think we’re lucky or gifted. I believe that kind of thinking is very short viewed… Nothing worth having is ever gained without work or sacrifice. My advice is to find a goal and be willing to delay gratification and see it to the end, there is no better feeling!