Are You Willing to Make a Short Term Sacrifice For A Long Term Gain
We live in a culture of instant gratification. It’s a system that works really well for the people at the top of the food chain. Buy something you don’t need, get your temporary instant gratification, and let the pattern start over again when your purchase is no longer satisfying you. A while back I talked about the 3 root causes of all suffering and it largely came down to one key idea: when the way you feel about yourself is based on external validation, you are in a really dangerous place.
This basically means you are giving control of your happiness to a completely external source, so you’re guaranteed a life of constant ups and downs. Yes, there are ups and downs in life regardless. But when you are not dependent on external circumstances they won’t have as much of an impact on how you feel about yourself.
Let’s look a bit deeper into this in context of day to day life. If you read my blog, you know that a few months back I quit a job in two weeks after a 6 month search. People thought I was out of my mind. When people graduate from business school, common wisdom tells them that they should find a job at a big company that pays at least 90k and puts them on the path to climbing the corporate ladder. I don’t make anywhere near that amount of money and I might even be making a slightly less than when I started business school. That probably sounds like a horrible ROI to you. But, what I’ve done is made a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. I gave up my search for additional income and the stability of a potential 90k a year job in order to build BlogcastFM and The Skool of Life into viable income streams. BlogcastFM is currently 8 months old and the podcast is averaging about 3000 downloads per month. It’s hard to say whether I would have been able to put in this kind of effort to all my personal projects if I was stuck in a typical 9 to 5 situation. Sometimes the price of long term freedom might be a little less money in the short term. Let me throw something else at you. How good do you think you would be at your job if you didn’t need it for money anymore? Think about the creative freedom and possibility you’ll go into your job with when you don’t need it. I’m one of the lucky people who loves my job, but getting to the point where the incentive is no longer financial would be incredibly liberating. I think I would be even better at my job if I didn’t need it.
You might be wondering if I think you should cut your hours in half or walk away from your 9 to 5 and the answer is NO. I don’t think you need to do that. But I do think you need to understand what it means to make a short term sacrifice for a long term gain. One of the most common excuses I hear from people about why they can’t do things is a lack of time. It’s not a lack of time, it’s a lack of priorities. When you decide to come home, turn on the TV and veg out in front of the couch, you have made a long term sacrifice for a short term gain. If you keep repeating that pattern your whole life will become a long term sacrifice for a short term gain. Before you know it you’ll have made one massive long term sacrifice for a series of short term gains: your life.
How To Start Changing Your Life In One Hour a Day
- Give up a TV Show: The minimalist crowd will tell you to ditch your TV altogether. I like my flatscreen and I like my toys so I won’t be ditching it anytime soon. But for the first time in my life I don’t have cable. I stream movies and TV shows on Netflix via the Xbox. The channel surfing habit is pretty much an afterthought. But imagine just giving up an hour each week to work on your personal projects. That’s 4 hours a month and 48 hours a year. If you give up more than one TV show it just keeps adding up.
- Wake up an Hour Earlier: I’m an early riser because my parents taught me at an early age how to become a morning person. Imagine having an hour in the morning to work on your personal projects. That’s roughly an additional 30 hours a month (almost an entire workweek) dedicated to you working on your personal projects.
- Go to Sleep an Hour Later: If you are more of a night owl, then stay up an hour later and and hammer out an additional blog post, implement an additional tip you’ve read, or do whatever it is that will help take your business one step higher.
If you give yourself one hour a day, the changes that you can make to your life are dramatic. If you start with one extra hour a day you’ll start to see visible progress with all your projects, you’ll hit momentum, and you’ll find that the projects won’t seem like a chore, but something that you look forward to every single day.
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