Oftentimes, high achievers focus on RESULTS now … the immediate. This way they can see, experience and achieve RESULTS quickly. I get it … we all want RESULTS NOW.
You know I’m all about focus, and in this lesson, I want to expand your thinking for a couple of minutes on times where strategic and well thought-out delayed gratification gives you better long-term RESULTS.
Ask yourself, “Where does ultimate happiness often come from?” The typical answer is relationships with family and friends. We all want more happiness, right?
Let me connect the dots and then expand from the foundation. What should we invest in now that will pay off later?
- Our brand … that’s a good one
- Our connections … you know I’m all about doing favors in advance
- Our business … we all want financial success
- Our relationships … this is a huge one (spouses, kids, family, neighbors, friends, colleagues, etc.)
Setting Goals That Pay Off Later
In my own goal-setting document, which is now 150+ pages, I’ve listed all the roles/relationship categories I want to excel in, and there are fourteen categories.
Have you thought about and documented yours? Are you investing in relationships (people) where the payoff comes later by doing favors in advance?
Here’s the deal: We are all tempted to invest our resources in things that provide immediate payoff, and that’s a good thing. However, we should also focus our efforts on things that payoff down the road. If all our efforts were rewarded short-term, we could be missing out on what matters most.
Have the discipline to “delay gratification” wisely. And build so you have wins in the future. —Click to Tweet
What is it that you need to spend more time on to get future rewards? What do you invest in now that will payoff later … your kids, your home, your financial stability, your presentation arsenal, your health … the list can get quite large. Make a plan, get clear on your goals, start thinking now, organize and build for your future.
Examples of Delayed Gratification
My business brand has been shaped, invested in and tweaked for 30 years. It’s all been very intentional with each book published, with clients and engagements we accept. Every action we take has an impact on our brand.
Now the phone rings daily, due to the intentional seeds we planted months and years ago. People around the world call and seek our advice, requesting that we share best practices and our methodology to help them win and get better RESULTS.
I talked smack to myself for years about this one.
I would go out to the famous Cooper Clinic and get my high-dollar physical. Then I slowly experienced myself becoming overweight, getting high blood pressure and flat-out failing to model healthy living for my kids.
Five years ago, I stepped back and realized I had a blind spot, and my delayed gratification was not working. It took me a couple years, but today I’ve formed a lifestyle of exercise, healthy eating and improved body management for ultimate health. After all my hard work, I was recently evaluated at 17 years below my chronological age.
I encourage you to do what I have done here if you need to. Smartly delay your gratification to live healthier.
Slow, consistent saving every single month for decades has given my family a strong financial base. My wife and I don’t have multiple homes or buy new cars. In fact, we recently traded in a vehicle with 143,000 miles for a slightly used one with 13,000 miles.
We delayed gratification because it brought us long-term security and stability. And yet, we live an incredible life and are blessed beyond words.
- Extraordinary Kids
That’s one my wife, Tammy, and I wanted … incredible, thoughtful and serving adult children. Don’t all parents want that? We were crystal clear, so what did we do? We handpicked the best school for our family and built a home close to that school. And our kids went there for 14 years, from preschool on.
We picked a home and built it simple, but with lots of square footage—more than we needed—and yet all we could reasonably afford. As the years passed, we added more and enriched it along the way so our kids would have a stable home to grow up in. They love our home. It’s not just a house, it’s a home … their home.
We saved and have taken our kids to a new country every year of their lives. Why? So they would understand the world.
I changed my business model 13 years ago to shrink it and ensure I was home often, to be with my kids, pray with their teachers each year as school began, be at their games, take pictures of them, teach them, etc. Now, almost 25 years later, we can see the fruit of our intentional labor. Delayed gratification has paid off.
I could go on and on. Building your connections, learning from mentors, reading the writing of experts before you … it is endless. I have personally invested in coaches for over 30 years so I could see my own blind spots, gain wisdom, and build my strength for the future.
Build Memories, Not Just Money
Invest in yourself with rest and sleep so your body can rebuild each day. Invest in physicals and preventative health, invest in your goals, your vision, your marriage, and your relationships.
Plant seeds now to see them bloom for years to come!