The Power of Delayed Gratification for Success
In the book, Think and Grow Rich, author Napoleon Hill states, “Sex desire is the most powerful of human desires. So strong and impelling is the desire for sexual contact that men freely run the risk of life and reputation to indulge it.”
Would you not agree?
But Hill goes on to pontificate, “The transmutation of sex energy calls for the exercise of willpower. If it is not transmuted into some creative effort it will find a less worthy outlet.” In other words, your burning desire to have sex, that sexual energy, needs to be diverted into something creative. In essence, you must delay physical gratification and use that desire to create your masterpiece. You must learn to transform energy.
How can you do this?
By shifting your thoughts. The mind is a creature of habit. It thrives upon the dominating thoughts you feed it. You must control your mind. Let's try an experiment.
Think of something yellow.
Now think of something blue.
You just controlled your mind.
That type of control comes from the persistence of habit. When negative emotions such as fear and procrastination start to creep in, use your mind to transform them into positive, constructive emotions. Remember, positive and negative emotions cannot occupy the mind at the same time.
What You Think
In Quantum Physics, bringing something into the physical world requires focusing not on what you see, but on what you want to see. Einstein said, “Matter is formed out of energy.” The very substance of what we see and feel came from someone’s thoughts or energy. Ergo, not only do our thoughts impact matter, our thoughts are the vibrational energy that manifests in what we see in our lives. If you think of scarcity and lack, that is what will show up in your life, because your thoughts are focused on it. Whatever we focus on expands and every experience we feel with our senses only comes after the decision we’ve made to see, experience and feel it in that way, physicists say. So what we choose to focus on really does matter.
In the book, The Wait, which centers on celibacy before marriage, former husband and wife team DeVon Franklin and Meagan Good said that “Mastering delayed gratification has an impact on every area of life from finances to family relationships.”
Franklin admits, “The decision to wait was one of the most difficult ones I’ve ever made in my life. I asked myself, ‘What if what I was doing disqualified me for the full manifestation of the call God has on my life.’” He could not reconcile the idea that at the end of his life, all that God had in store for him could not be bestowed upon him because he chose not to delay gratification. Franklin concludes, “As a man if you can be disciplined in your sexual life, there’s nothing you can’t do.” I want you to see the principal here. What if success is in your future, but because you cannot delay gratification, you will not ever see it manifested in your life?
When you can control your emotions, then you are powerful. Delaying gratification and transforming that energy into something productive and creative is not a weakness, it is a strength. In delaying gratification, yes, you are denying your immediate urge, but we are endowed with a beautiful thing called willpower. Once you learn to harness the power of your will, success beckons. When you get into the habit of delaying gratification, it will become easier. Remember, our mind is a creature of habit and it thrives upon the thoughts we feed it. Will it be easy? No, but it can be done. It must be done if you want something more in your life.
Easy is Dangerous
Speaking of easy, that’s one word, you want to use less of in your vocabulary. Please tell me one worthwhile thing that is easy. My point exactly. "What trips people up when it comes to easy is that whatever is easy to do is also easy not to do," Motivational Speaker Jim Rohn said. It’s easy to exercise, but do you do it? It’s easy to get eight hours of sleep, but do you do it? It’s easy to eat healthily, but do you do it? See my point.
“Neglect starts as an infection,” said Rohn. “But it quickly leads to disease.” If you neglect to do wise things with your money, you’ll be broke. If you neglect to do wise things with your health, you’ll end up sick. If you neglect to do that thing that keeps nagging you, you end up with an unfulfilled life.
According to Rohn, the formula for disaster is, “You should do it, you could do it, but you don’t do it.” Do not neglect. If you do, you’ll be driving what you don’t want to drive, working where you don’t want to work and living where you don’t want to live. When you neglect, you have to put up with your lack.
If you should be walking around the corner every day for your health and you don’t, what is that neglect costing you?
Be Like a Tree
Every day, more and more people are getting sick and having to take medication – all because of neglect. They’ve neglected to take care of their health and now they are suffering the consequences. Don’t neglect. For some it is legitimate, but for others and you know who you are, it’s simply neglect. How tall does a tree grow? As tall as it can. Be like a tree. Stop settling for less than the best you can do.
Learn From a First-Grader
You’ve spent enough time where you are. This is a new year, don't take your old thinking with you into this new year. How long do you want your child to remain in first grade? Exactly. If you demand it of your kids, you have to demand it of yourself. How long have you been stuck where you are? Time to move on. Grieve the person you were in the past and move on. In her book, Stop Saying You’re Fine: Discover a More Powerful You, Mel Robbins, developed the five-second rule to get herself to take action when she didn’t want to. The truth is she says, “If you don’t start doing the things you don’t feel like doing, you will wake up one year from today and be in exactly the same place.” Is that the life you want?
Be Like a Rubber Band
When is a rubber band useful?
Only when it is stretched.
We are the same way.
Too many people settle for mediocre and average. The majority of people underestimate themselves. They aim for what they know they can reach and they hit it every time. Instead, you should aim for that thing just beyond your grasp, and not surprisingly, you will hit it too.
Pay Full Price
Do not take this amazing trip through life and never pay the full fare. For every promise, there is a price to pay. Just like a rubber band, in life, stretching is required. It starts from the inside out and it’s never easy and people will criticize you, but if you want to grow, you must take a risk. If you’ve never delayed gratification in any area of your life, you must start now. Because the greatest stretching in life comes when we do things that are not easy and that have never been done by us before.
Learn From a Plant
Take your common house plant. If it ceases to grow, it dies. Everything that ceases to struggle, dissipates. If you are not active in your life, whether that involves exercising or doing the thing you know you should do, i.e. writing that book, you will also slowly dissipate and die. Abraham Maslow said, “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life.”
Your Hunger Pains
When you are hungry, what type of signals does your body send you? Perhaps a headache, you might become irritable or your stomach may growl. If you don't obey the signals your body is giving you, you'll continue to experience those symptoms until you give your body the food it needs. What signals does your body give you when you fail to pursue that which you know you should? Before I answer that consider what author Mel Robbins says in her book, Stop Saying You’re Fine: Discover a More Powerful You, “We all want to become something bigger and more powerful than we are. It’s built into our DNA. As long as you’re breathing, you'll be looking for something more. What you decide to do with that feeling – stuff it or act on it – determines the direction of your life.”
Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs states that we as humans are all driven to meet our basic needs, such as food, clothing and shelter. But, when these needs are met, new needs arise. You start to long for something more. This normally translates into an urging for a deeper understanding of your life or some kind of creative outlet. When you do not meet your higher needs, you feel sad, unfulfilled and disillusioned with life. Remember that question about what signals your body gives you when you fail to pursue that thing that you know you should, well, that is the answer. The signals are your own emotions. It is how you feel about life. Are you truly happy in every area of your life? If not, it’s because you are not creating in your life. You are not participating in your life. You are taking things easy. You do the same things every day and every week and every month. You are not stretching yourself. You are taking what life is dishing out to you. You are not in control. You feel stuck. If that's true of you, then that’s good in one sense. This is your wake-up call. Get unstuck. Commandeer your life.
Simply put, if you want to arrive at a new destination, you have to take a new path. “Do not wait for a change of environment before you act. Cause a change of environment through action,” said Wallace Wattles. Have a bias toward action and above all delay gratification and transform your energy into success.
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