“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 outcomes in their academic performance, career and business success, health and overall happiness.
Delayed gratification, self-discipline, resistance to temptation and other psychological disturbances are the cornerstone of life achievement.
How do you develop these traits?
You just do it. There is no secret to it.
Discipline yourself to do it.
Instead of watching TV or Netflix, how about reading a book?
Or having an apple instead of a chocolate brownie.
Go for a run in the morning instead of staying in a cozy and warm bed.
When it comes to business, it is not as straightforward.
I know how frustrating it could be to pour your heart in a project or a business you are working on and not being able to see the results.
The problem is — we all get the idea that it takes 9 months for a baby to be born. We know it intellectually.
However, when it comes to reaching our own goals, we don’t really have an accurate anticipation of time.
Most people ask, “How long is it going to take?”
Do you how bamboo tree grows? It is quite a fascinating process.
Bamboo tree can barely be seen for the first 5 years as it builds extensive root systems underground before exploding 90 feet into the air within 6 weeks.
“Did the growth happen over 5 years or the last 6 weeks?” You might ask..
Well, what do you think?
Just because you don’t see the results, it doesn’t mean they are not there..
I am not suggesting it is going to take 5 years for you to achieve your dream. Or 3, or 7, or 1 year.
I don’t know.
But I do know that asking, “how long will it take?” creates the wrong approach, inviting impatience and unfulfilled expectations.
I don’t believe in a time-bound goal setting.
First of all, universe operates on a different timescale to us humans.
Second, if you put effort just to get something, you are not going to go far.
There is a difference between goal-orientated and identity-orientated transformation.
Goal achievement will give you one time satisfaction, while identity shift will create lifetime transformation.
It is like, would you rather get a fish now or learn fishing?
Getting a fish now will satisfy your hunger for today. Learning to fish will feed you for life.
Most people choose to get the fish here and now. And that’s the problem
What if we were to shift our perspective from getting to becoming? I promise, our performance level will dramatically change.
After all, it is not the money we are after. It is what money can enable us to do and to have.
It is not the clients we are after, it is the connection and the realisation of our own contribution.
It is not really the achievement that drives us. It is self-actualisation.
Don’t get me wrong, money, many clients and overall achievement is an amazing reward.
However, if we were just handed the results we want without any efforts, we would not appreciate the value of it all.
You probably know many instances of rich and spoiled children, who take things for granted and are either unhappy or worse yet, get on a slippery slope of wrong choices.
You have to learn to appreciate the journey event when it is frustrating.
Learning to fish requires patience and discipline.
Keep that vision of bamboo tree and keep pressing on. The results will come when you focus on transformation.
Identity shift requires undeniable self-belief. Click here to learn more.