Almost Everything You Do is NOT for Today

Life’s rewards and punishment (regrets) often come down to one crucial life skill, mastering delayed gratification.

Like many people in the realm of personal development, I’m obsessed about highly successful people, their routines, mindset, mental toughness and all-around life lessons that I can learn from them.

There’s no shortage of inspiration when you immerse yourself in it.

Often, I pick up the strengths of highly successful people that mirror my shortcomings.

I figure that’s the quickest way of fixing them, as their success stories have a way of showing my own errors.

Or motivate me to adapt their life skills to achieve success.

I’ve learned several things about highly successful people, from them being an early riser to their personality traits.

Here’s another quality of highly successful people that highlights my (PAST) weakness, which I’m glad is in the past now.

Mastering Delayed Gratification

Whether saving up for the future, sculpting your body or building a profitable business, one thing the highly successful people have in common is that they’re a master of delayed gratification.

This is where I painfully fell short for a long time.

So it’s not surprising that I picked it up first to work on.

Instant gratification is like a disease.

A disease caused by viruses well hidden inside cells.

They pose an invisible challenge, crawling and spreading all over inside you.

We don’t see its expanding power that takes over our body.

Soon enough, we’re in for a rude awakening.

That rude awakening may come as a form of:

  • Ill health for abusing our body with no control e.g. bad eating habits and a lack of exercise
  • Poverty for spending away all earnings and living beyond the means.
  • Dysfunctional family for ignoring good family (and friends) relationships
  • No career progress for being too lazy to improve and update skills

And so on…

Why Fall for Instant Gratification

Our logical mind tells us we should put aside a portion of our earnings, but retirement is really too far away (so we say).

We convince ourselves we still have plenty of time.

Or we don’t have enough money to save.

The truth is, today’s pleasure is too great to give up for something too far away.

We love pursuing instant gratification that is euphoric and immediate TODAY.

But Almost Everything You Do is Not for Today

Lift two pounds heavier weight today than yesterday.

Nobody – including you – will see an immediate result of shredding a pound after the workout.

Write your 500+ words for your first ebook today, just the same as yesterday that nobody reads. Yet.

Get in 30 minutes earlier to work than your colleagues, even when no one including your boss notices.

You don’t see various skills and improvement you accumulate. Not today.

Despite not seeing the immediate result, take up as many tasks as you can and complete them diligently and competently every day.

Publish a blog post just like yesterday that no one seems interested. Not today.

Eat a little healthier today than yesterday, although you don’t see health improvement immediately.

Put aside a small portion of your paycheck to saving and investment account today that you don’t see returns right away.

Compound Effect of Everything You Do

None of the above activities give immediate benefits to us.

But the key is the compound effect of everything you do.

Much like our saving and investment compounds over our lifetime, just about everything we do compounds.

And the compound effect works in both directions, positive or negative.

Except you can’t have two results at the same time.

You either face a positive compounding effect or a negative one.

One bad eating habit repeated every night compounds your lifetime that leads you to disease in later life.

The positive effect of good eating habits compounding every day leads you to a healthier and longer life span.

One takeaway repeated twice a week compounds your lifetime that leads you to zero retirement funds (because you likely have more bad money habits).

Putting the same money into saving and investment account compounding year on year grows to a sizable amount to support you after retirement.

Final Thoughts

It’s worthwhile to repeat that almost everything you do is not for today.

Rather, it’s for next week, next month, 5 years or 10 years.

Which is why we need to master delayed gratification, keep exercising, eat healthy, invest in ourselves (and grow), write that book, build that business or save money.

Delayed gratification today will reward you with a happy and rich life tomorrow.

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