Our best self is yet to be revealed.
In a time when so much gratification is immediate, it’s hard for many to believe that good comes to those who wait. Far too many of us treat the discipline of delayed gratification as though it were life’s greatest tragedy. The sad thing is that delayed gratification isn’t a “no” response…it’s simply a “not right this minute” response.
Consider the trouble that we get ourselves into when we deny our God-given ability to say “no” or to perhaps simply say “not now” to something we want or feel we deserve. When this happens we spend more than we have. We eat what is harmful or we eat amounts that are harmful. We commit ourselves to things that require superhuman strength and unlimited time constraints to complete. We add more work to our schedules and decrease exercise and rest. The sad thing isn’t merely that we want it all…that sad thing is that we want it all right now!
I don’t think that I would ever be accused of being a slacker by anyone who knows me well. I encourage dreams and hard work. It is wonderful to have great aspirations that are doable, reasonable and well planned. Just remember that for every action there must be a reaction. In other words, what will you say no to in order to offer a serious yes to a new venture or opportunity you’re faced with?
You have only a limited amount of time and you only have a limited amount of energy. How will you steward your gifts of time, talent and energy in this life? What will be the legacy of your wonderful life? Will it be all the things you merely gave lip service to or will it be the incredible things you fully devoted yourself to?
Many Americans enjoy the gift…and sometimes curse…of abundance. An abundance of opportunity. An abundance of aspiration. An abundance of perceived entitlements. And an abundance of T.V. programs and reality shows that make everyday people instantly famous…not better, or more fulfilled or having greater integrity…just rich and famous. Many people today watch television and grow up thinking that anyone who desires instant fame can do so without much preparation, discipline or sacrifice.
The thing that I am shouting from my soapbox this week is that your bright future doesn’t begin with what you can…or should have. It should begin with an appreciation for what you already have. Success requires the great sacrifice of delayed gratification. If you can’t wait for something to happen…chances are that it won’t last once it does. If your success is going to change the world it should first change your priorities.
Remember, over-commitment almost always leads to under-delivery!