There’s only one key to achieve your goals. It may be losing weight or becoming rich or whatever.
Strangely enough, these seemingly unrelated goals have one element in common: delayed gratification.
What Is Delayed Gratification?
Do you want to eat that sweet meal now or are you willing to abstain so that you can be healthy in a few years?
Do you want to buy a new car now even if you can’t afford it and you need a loan or are you willing to drive your junker car another 10 years so that you can save money to start your dream business?
Delayed gratification is the willingness to admit that shortcuts don’t work. Don’t expect immediate results. You have got to fight your way back into the light.
What is delayed gratification? It is the willingness to put off gratification today for the promise of a much larger prize later on.
The Persistence Of The Bamboo Tree
Our life is like the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree. You take a little seed and plant it. You need to water and fertilize it every single day. If you stop doing that it dies in the ground.
However, for five years nothing happens. How discouraging this becomes!
But here’s the thing: when the bamboo tree breaks through the ground it starts sprouting and, in just six weeks, it grows ninety feet.
Life is often discouraging. You seemingly do things right and nothing happens.
But if you sow the seeds of what you desire someday you will achieve it. If you do things right and with persistence, things will happen. Finally, you begin to receive the rewards.
The roots have to grow underneath the ground. They need to be rooted in deeply to hold the plant when it grows. They represent a solid foundation and, of course, this is opposed to instant gratification.
The whole process may be a lot of effort but it’s worth it because someday you will experience an explosive growth out of nowhere.
Effort And Success Are Like An Iceberg
We look at successful people and we assume that they have always been that way, that it comes easily without effort.
Success is like an iceberg that floats in the water. People only see a small fraction of an iceberg that is above the water line but the larger part of an iceberg is hidden beneath the water.
In other words, we tend to only see the great outcome that a successful person has achieved throughout their lives.
Often instead the efforts that were necessary to achieve such an outcome remain hidden and unnoticed. We are not aware of the huge efforts that were necessary to make these accomplishments possible.
It doesn’t matter what do you want to achieve in your life, these 4 steps are the foundation to build a successful life:
1. Find clarity about what you want
Allow yourself to be curious. Go out, try new things and see how you feel. Repeat this step and, every time, notice how you feel.
Emotions are your compass; they tell you if the direction you are going is correct. Let your emotion guide you and find the way.
The more things you experience the more you get clear about what you want do in life. Once you get clarity you are now able to follow your dream by putting all your energy and vitality in it.
2. Be perseverant and consistent
If you want to achieve your goals consistency and perseverance are the only things that matter. You have to build good habits and you have to do it every day.
If you want something go out and get it. Today. Because if you give up today you will give up every day of your life.
Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid not to try. Self-doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will. And remember: if children gave up when they fell for the first time, they would never learn to walk.
3. Accept disappointments and failures
When you set a big goal, life will knock you down many times. That’s when people give up.
But you’ve got to believe in your ideas. Because before anyone else in the world believes it, you have to believe it.
At any moment, even if nobody believes in you, it only takes yourself believing in you to accomplish your goals.
You will fail many times. Accept it. It’s a step forward. It means you are learning;
4. Be resilient
Get yourself back up every time you fail. You have to have a massive action plan. You have to have enough plans or always invent new others.
Otherwise when you fail the first times you’re going to make excuse why they didn’t work and give up.