Instant gratification vs long-term goals
The world has changed dramatically over recent years. We have ‘one-click’ online shopping now, yes, a single click. You give a few personal details, and your product will arrive, sometimes in minutes.
You can buy quick microwave meals at the supermarket. Or if you step onto the high street, you can order fast food. Combine that with the ‘one-click’ shopping, and the fast food is handed to you on your doorstep.
Even where I live, we have cute little robots that will bring stuff to your house – what a great invention.
All the above are amazing and something beyond anyone’s vision not that long ago. But how has this made us think as human beings? Do some people expect immediate results? Have we run out of patience to wait for success?
Reality TV paints an instant success lifestyle of talented individuals who step on stage and instantly get a million-pound contract. But do we now expect this to happen to ourselves?
Films and music videos show actors and musicians portraying fantastic lives, and live sports show athletes competing where winning is the only option. Yet, nobody sees what happens behind the scenes. The hours and hours of painstaking practice, rehearsals and knockbacks and the number of times a successful individual suffers self-doubt, failures and setbacks.
In reality, the only way to become successful is to put in the hard work.
Shortcuts to success
Overnight success. Doesn’t that sound amazing…but does it exist?
The straight answer is no. Of course, you can take shortcuts to reach success more quickly, but anyone who uses the phrase, they had ‘success overnight’, isn’t factoring in the time and effort put in to get them to that point.
For instance, someone sets up a business and they completely sell out of their product on the day of their launch. They may call it an overnight success, but that success wouldn’t be possible if they hadn’t set up the business and planned the launch effectively.
Although there are shortcuts, you need to be aware that they won’t necessarily be the most enjoyable, and you will still need to put time and effort in.
These shortcuts include things like:
- Consistency. If you want to get fit, you need to train consistently. You can’t save a whole month’s worth of training for one day and become super fit. That’s just not how it works…sadly! Consistency is key.
- Doing mundane tasks like writing a ‘To-do’ list. This will help you create a powerful plan and motivate you to tick off your tasks. It’s easy but not hugely exciting.
- Finding and studying experts can take you closer to your goals more quickly. Some people are threatened by high achievers and try avoiding them. But, why not find out how they became successful and learn from them instead. Whether you talk directly to them or read their book, absorb knowledge from them and learn from their journey to success.
- Utilising technology to your advantage. A programme or application may not be thrilling to use, but it could be a key component in cutting down the time and energy spent on certain tasks. Think about what you can do to increase your efficiency.
- Avoiding distractions and procrastinating. It is so easy to slow your journey to success down by finding more enjoyable things to do. Set goals and targets to keep you on track.
A great piece of advice given to us with regard to writing was to avoid making things look pretty. Write, write, and then write some more. This meant we didn’t spend time continuously spellchecking and formatting or going back to check things repeatedly. Instead, we focussed on getting the content written. It wasn’t until after the draft was completed that we went back to edit the piece. This way, it took us less time to complete overall than if we wasted time fine-tuning it the whole way through. This principle can be applied to anything, whether it’s study, business, schoolwork or planning. Get the core of the work done first and then work on the fine details afterwards.
If you want to be a success, look at all the steps you need to take on your journey. Be consistent and form good habits. Success isn’t just handed to you; you must work for it.
To find out more on this topic…
Listen to our ‘S for Shortcuts’ podcast episode
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