I’m a podcast junky. I have my shows I subscribe to and I don’t miss an episode. You hear about a lot of stuff when on a day to day basis you consume 1-3 hours of intelligent conversation between thought leaders across various industries. You also hear a lot of nonsense, and over time, you’ll discover the types of things that spike your interest and the kind of useless discussion you won’t remember. However, you need to consume it all to be able to thoughtfully sort through it in your own mind. But that’s not why I’m hear today (sounds like another topic I should discuss though)!
A couple months ago I was listening to “Impact Theory” with Tom Bilyeu. Tom was interviewing Alex Hormozi, who I consider a business genius. The content this guy puts online is as good as anything you’ll hear in the business world these days. The conversation was about 3 hours long, but I only remember 1 thing. *Side note: I’d say that’s an accurate representation of time consuming podcasts to memorable points, about 1 memorable idea for every 3 hours of listening.* The thing I remember came from the part of the conversation when they were discussing the 3 things that they figure every mega successful person has in common. I don’t remember all 3 things, I just remember 1. Here it is: every mega successful person has demonstrated a remarkable ability to delay gratification.
Would you like to have a good thing now? A pleasurable thing? A thing that will improve your status? Would you like to have that now? Or would you like a great thing a bit later. Something better. Something more pleasurable. Something that will automatically put your life status in a whole different category. Most people can logically conclude that it would make sense to delay the good thing and take the great thing a while later, but most people don’t live like this. We live in an instant gratification world. Just think of the YOLO movement. You only live once and you don’t know for how long, so go ahead and indulge in whatever your heart desires and don’t you let anyone discourage you from doing just that. That’s what the world tells us. Should we listen?
I’ve written previously about how things that are worth doing usually aren’t easy. To add to that, things that are worth doing are probably worth putting some time in. Maybe even a lot of time. I guess it depends on how great the endgame will be. This is where your imagination is so very important. If you lack the ability to imagine a future greater than the present, there’s not much point delaying anything. It’s key to be able to look forward in time and literally see what could be if certain steps are taken.
Just imagine the body, the income, the relationships, the real estate portfolio or the business empire you could create if you were patient enough to see it through. You’ll have to make certain sacrifices to accomplish this future, that much is definite, and it can’t be what discourages you from doing it. Don’t think of the freshly baked donuts your coworker just brought into the office, think about the body you want on the beach this Summer. Don’t view not eating a donut as depriving yourself, you’d just rather be gratified with your dream body in a few months. When you’re building a business and the rest of the world seems to be in Mexico, fight the urge for that instantly gratifying vacation and remember the feeling you’re sure to create by delaying it (those vacations will come). The feeling of accomplishment and progress toward something meaningful is a feeling that can’t be beat.
Another former Podcaster I used to listen to, Nicholas Bayerle, used to explain his view of happiness as something very simple. He’d say that happiness is progress. I don’t think it’s quite that simple, but proof of progress towards something meaningful is perhaps the most motivating feeling one can get. If you’re not moving towards something, you’re moving away from something. That’s a vague statement, but at the same time, I believe it, and I try to live by it. What are you moving toward? I don’t mean lunch or a concert you have tickets to. I mean a meaningful future endeavour. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be something. Something to overpower the instant urges the world throws at us daily. Paula Pant, host of the “Afford Anything” show, describes how you can do anything, just not everything. You just can’t give in to every urge that looks shiny. You have to pick and choose, and if you want to get anywhere by design, you have to pick and choose wisely.
Don’t deprive yourself of anything for no reason. In fact, don’t deprive yourself at all. Do direct your attention to what’s coming rather that what’s right in front of you though, and before you yell at me and say “you have to live in the moment”, I’ll remind you that the moment you’re currently in is only here because of what you’ve been doing until now, so proceed thoughtfully. Life is full of amazing things, days, moments and eras. You don’t want to miss those, but to get the best ones, sometimes you’ll have to skip something good for something great.