Think Long Term
One way is good, but it’s got some drawbacks. On the other hand, if you do something else, it may be safe, but not nearly as fun.
A lot of things go hand in hand. Often times something good will go along with something not so good. It feels really good to stuff your face in front of the TV. But it doesn’t feel so good the next morning.
It may feel good to sleep in, but when you finally roll out of bed and see that it’s already in the early afternoon, you might not feel so excited.
One economist theorized that humans reached an evolutionary tipping point when we started to naturally think of pleasure out in the distant future, compared to the pleasure now.
Meaning that lower animals are only driven by instincts. They can’t really plan. Even when squirrels save nuts for the winter, they’re being driven by instincts. It’s not like they fire up Excel and calculate their caloric requirements.
Humans, on the other hand, somehow figured out how to compare doing something now, vs. doing something differently, and then comparing the potential results in the unknown future.
Like maybe in the present a caveman wanted to punch another caveman in the face. But then he’d imagine that guy’s buddies ganging up on him later, so he would plan a better alternative.
They great thing about this is that you can cultivate it, and develop it.
Like any other skill, the best way to do this is to simply practice.
Start small, and do more and more as you can.
For example, consider waking up ten minutes earlier tomorrow, just to prove that you can. This will build up your “delayed gratification” muscle in your brain.
As you well know, persistence is one of the most important skills for any kind of success.
All the genius inventors, artists, business people, scientists, none of them would have accomplished what they accomplished had it not been for persistence.
Whatever you want, you can get. But getting it WILL take time. It WILL take trial and “error,” or feedback.
So long as you keep your imagination fixed on the distant future, when you WILL be successful, you’ll keep going.
Consider doing something each day that builds up this attitude. Take one thing you’d like to do, or one thing you want to do but know you shouldn’t, and imagine how it will affect your life one year from now.
Spend a few moments thinking about that BEFORE doing it, whatever it is.
Keep this up and you’ll develop a skill few people have.
Which means you’ll be able to get stuff few people can.
These will help: