Instant Gratification is not your friend.

Quick fixes do more harm than good.

Ever present is the idea that, if we take a pill, our problems will be fixed. If we commit in the surface of going to the gym, eating right, practicing meditation or yoga, going to therapy; things will just automatically lift off our shoulders and all the issues we’ve been battling with since childhood; just disappear.

Change, betterment, transformation, improvement, and healing are long term commitments; not the short term “feel good” solutions, they are portrayed to be.

I’ve been practicing yoga and fitness for 20 plus years, and the vice that always got in the way of my practice, my life, and my relationships with others, is the need for instant gratification and instant solutions. Staying with something long enough to see change, or realizing that ephemeral enjoyment doesn’t translate into long term change, is something I learned the hard way. It is all too often that I see these patterns with my students and clients. If I give them “homework” to do most of them don’t follow through or forget to commit to their own self improvement, giving in to excuses, and short term inadequate solutions. We all do it.

Setting a goal and achieving that goal is the difference between an idea and a plan.

If you see instant anywhere in your life, coffee, food, fitness, (sorry Suzanne summers), business plans, sex, affection, repairs (yes those too); step back and think again. Taking stock of what we really want to achieve in our lives, steers us away from doing what’s easy or fast. Committing to doing what is best and maintaining that, demands a very fine balance of personal accountability and self knowledge. Giving in to our cravings, our instant joy, our sweet tooth, or social pressures to “get it done quickly” will only harm and derail us in the process of self improvement, depriving us in the end of setting any goals worthy of follow through.

Next time when things get challenging or busy or too much, take a step back and fight to finish what you started, no shortcuts or excuses. Do the 30 day challenge and actually stick to it for life.

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Day 2 – Delayed Gratification

Having to wait for something makes it ever more enticing.

I’ll start with the “textbook” analysis of Delayed Gratification:

Pleasure is central to our survival. We need things like food, water, and sexin order to survive and pass our genetic material on to the next generation. However, as we get older and mature, we must learn to tolerate the discomfort of delayed gratification if we have a greater purpose or goal in mind. Unlike infants and young children, adults are characterized by their ability to delay gratification and tolerate hard work, discipline, and occasional unpleasantness in order to fulfill responsibilities and achieve goals. Mature adults don’t expect others to meet their needs. They understand and accept that they won’t always be gratified. My second post title for this week is apropos. I was sick again this weekend and didn’t get to writing as much as I wanted to. Feeling under the weather even with a head cold doesn’t bode well for progress in the goals we set.

When I was a little girl patience and waiting for what I wanted wasn’t my strong suit. Like any voracious child; I wanted what I wanted and I wanted it now. My parents in their infinite wisdom used to respond with a lyric from a Rolling Stones song (yeah I have those kind of parents). This weekend I had to flex that seldom used muscle of patience with myself and my intense need to be constantly productive. One thing I can not be accused of is letting idle time go by. Accomplishment and goal setting has been a lifelong battle. Any creative person you talk to will probably say the same.

We work harder than most because our only product is our own work. So when obstacles get in the way of our goals we tend to derail our whole plan. ( yes artists let’s be honest ). So with that in mind, the idea of working diligently and patiently at something; anything, over a extended period of time is the theme of today’s post. I’m sure all of us have had this idea that if we just wish for it long enough things will just happen.

In the quick fix, fast results, no effort needed, “just add water”, buy now pay later, mentality of our modern world; I find slow, and steady progress to be a revolutionary act.

We all get bombarded by the before and after images of body, face, life, skills improvement, but the reality is, the shit we have to go through to make progress and get better at something is the real work not seen, which justifies the end result. Quick fixes don’t produce good work. Fast and cheap does’t make for anything worth keeping, and instant “out of the box” human connections don’t stand the test of time.

Delayed gratification yields a much sweeter reward than instant gratification with very little effort. We savor the riches of our labor and passions when we can stand the test of time. Until then, back to the drawing board.

What are you working on or have worked on over a long period of time and want to share with the world?

And remember:

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need.