I was riding my bike today and that entails listening to podcasts and a LOT of thinking/calculating.
Often I’m thinking so hard (and scanning the roadway) that I don’t pay attention to the podcast playing. Do you ever find you are thinking and not paying attention to the sound of the TV or device playing?
It occurred to me mid-hill as my legs were burning and my lungs were trying their best to refill my legs with oxygenated super-blood (well, actually normal Kevin blood) that this ride—this effort— is a payment toward my future health, to my future movement ability, to my future happiness.
It’s no secret from my writings that I’m very happy and find so much positive and gratitude in my life each and every day. On the bike ride podcast in my ears, the interviewee said “say thank you each night and every morning and you will live a better life. It’s that simple.” It’s those two words, twice a day that can make a massive difference for everyone. Yeah, zen-talk, blah blah blah.
I deeply believe in enjoying each day. No matter what is going on, we are lucky to have each day.
Back to my ride: so I was thinking about the effort on my pedals, the burn and the “this hurts” thoughts, and I realized how I was trying to better myself, not only for the now but for the future.
In the next moment, I realized how my future events may be better because of today’s effort. I thought about delayed gratification and the ability to do something now—changing something now—in an effort to receive something (better) in the future.
I believe so much in the ability to delay gratification to achieve goals. Placing targets—even higher targets—in the future are much harder than getting little items in the immediate. [for some reason building a skyscraper just came to mind—all that foundation work underground that nobody in the future will ever see] Today’s concept is much more than the simple “you will save money if you wait to buy something until you have the money saved up, and/or you are really sure you want to purchase the item.” Planning, preparing, and working towards the future in many different ways will be rewarding should we reach the future. Most of us do not have unlimited resources and will have to invoke some level of delayed gratification.
At the extreme, when we travel and are killing time at night in a hotel room (boring people) and there’s no DVR so we are forced to let the commercials play. We’ve found after nearly 20 years of time-shifting our viewing (see our first device UltimateTV) we have no patience for TV marketing of products, foods, medication or politicians.
I just haven’t grasped the “I see it, I want it-NOW” mentality. Oh, I definitely buy things. I definitely buy things I do not need. I also spend too much time making sure it’s the correct/best item for me and the best price (usually a huge waste of time) but over that research time period I often weed out the unnecessary.
So delayed gratification is built into me. …I can wait.
I just realized my last post was about saving the best for last. Note to self, enjoy now AND be prepared for better in the future…assuming the future comes. Nothing is guaranteed, so balance is critical.
*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice. I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be. You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice.