How Long Will It Take To Achieve Your Dream?

A strategy to creating tangible progress.

Anna Simpson
4 min readMay 11, 2020


“I love running but I don’t like marathons.” She said

“What is it you don’t like about marathons?” I enquired.

“Because it is too long. I am comfortable running 10 kilometres as opposed to 42 kilometres.” She responded

That was part of the coaching conversation I had with one of the amazing ladies I have the privilege to serve.

The analogy to running and marathons started unappealing the onion. We revealed the impatience and instant gratification issue.

It is a big problem for so many people who on the surface realise the value of process, but when it comes to practice, it is all about the results here and now, right?


Well, it is about results. But that shouldn’t be the main focus. It is easy to get frustrated if we just focus on the rewards not the journey itself.

Being results-orientated is a good quality but it is a road to frustration when things are not going according to your plans.

Most of the time, things don’t go according to our plans, so we have to show maximum patience, creativity and flexibility.

It requires mental toughness and self- discipline.

There was an interesting research done by Stanford University, called the Marshmallow Test.

In 1972 Stanford University psychology professor Walter Mischel did the study on delayed gratification.

In this study, a child was offered a choice between one small and immediate reward or two small rewards if they waited a period of time.

In other words, kids were offered one marshmallow immediately or 2 marshmallows after some time.

The child was left in the room with one marshmallow in front of her. In 15 minutes, when the researcher came back, and if there was still a marshmallow left, the child got another marshmallow.

Further studies of the same children who were able to wait for a double reward, had much better life…



Anna Simpson

Helping people discover, articulate, and monetise their messages and stories, so they can get paid for who they are.