I see people’s personalities as having two different and opposing forces. It’s kind of like having the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. This does not always apply to everything, but mainly to making decisions about one’s success. Such decisions can make the difference between us succeeding or us failing in the future.
What do I mean by this? Well, there is this concept that many people may be familiar with called “Short and Long Term Gratification”. I see it as a decision process based on two different personality types in a person’s mind.
On one hand, there is the personality type that enjoys the short-term pleasure. This is usually the reward that a person feels right away. Part of our genetic code entails us to be short-term gratification minded. It seemed to serve us a better purpose when we did not have to think about future consequences.
This trait makes us do what feels good at that exact time. We will enjoy it, but only for a couple of minutes, and than we will forget about it. Humans tend to be driven towards this reward process quickly. Why? Because the reward is right there. We don’t want to wait. It’s the route with least resistance.
In today’s age being short-term gratification minded may actually hinder you in becoming successful in anything you do. This applies to business, lifestyle, education, career, investments, attitude, and in this article, eating habits. This is just to name a few.
In order to be successful you have to be long-term gratification minded.
Being long-term gratification minded is not allowing any short-term pleasures to interfere with your future goals. These pleasures, either long-term or short-term, are usually directly correlated. A simple example is, if I want to become healthy and loss weight, then I will have to eat well (Paleo) and exercise regularly and not indulge in those guilty pleasures that will hinder my success.
You either do one or the other. You can’t do both!
So why should someone sacrifice their short-term pleasures with long-term pleasures? Why not just “enjoy” life right away? Because the reward at the end is that much bigger. Instead of the candy being a handful it will be 100 handfuls. I rather wait for that big juicy candy any day.
We have two conflicting reward centers in our brains that can make us or break as, if you will. If you spend too much time satisfying one of the reward centers, then that reward center will have more power. Most people give power away to their short-term satisfactions and it becomes really difficult for them to ever switch into their long-term satisfaction mode.
It takes willpower and goal setting to be successful.
In order to become successful in this, you have to sit down and physically write out your plan. You cannot just think about it and try it half ass. It has to be written with specific dates. Yes, it may seem cheesy when you do this, but it is essential. Next, you have to give yourself enough time to get that willpower up and use it correctly.
On a final and most important note, whenever you are about to eat something, make sure to think of the short-term versus the long-term gratification concept. I am sure you will be a lot more successful.
– Simon Bialecki