For the last 60 years, Heart Disease and Cancer have been listed as the number one and number two killers in the United States and many other developed nations. This is basically because when the person dies the cause of death is one of these two….but is it? Really?
I say the answer is NOT REALLY. Heart disease and Cancer are what the final result was at the time of death. It is the thing that is identifiable. It is the medical label so to speak. But it is not the true killer. For a small percentage, and I mean a small percentage of these people, genetics were the true killer. But for the rest?
The true killer is Instant gratification
Succumbing to instant gratification doesn’t just lead to poor health, it also leads to broken dreams. It is a subordination of what we want this moment to what is best for our life in the big picture. It is a form of reaction.
Living in reaction means in essence that we are not taking control of our actions, but instead are letting our impulses and urges rule us. Proactive living is the key to having a successful life where we flourish in the areas that are important to us, like health, relationships, and career accomplishments.
I love to play. I love to have a good time. Having been self-employed as a lifestyle entrepreneur (this means having no employees) for 27 years now, everyday I wake up I have the ability to do what I want to do without any immediate consequence if I choose to take the instant gratification route. What has helped me to defeat this vicious malady has been recognizing that their CAN be instant gratification from doing the proactive thing without an immediate tangible result.
their CAN be instant gratification from doing the proactive thing
The instant gratification I am referring to, the good side of this malady, is the increase in self worth, the sense of accomplishment for simply doing the thing that is in the best interest of long term life. The victory in the moment over the pleasure seeker that lives in all of us. Most everyone knows deep down, when they are choosing to give in to what feels good right now, that they are tearing holes in the foundation of their future. But they don’t feel these future consequences in the moment. It doesn’t seem to matter. But it does matter. Living reactively like this becomes a habit. The continuation of this habit compounded over months and then years, leads to a desperate state of being. It leads to a day of awakening. When a health issue blows up. Or when a realization that there is no money in the bank and too many bills to pay stares from the mirror.
How does this chain get broken?
One little discipline at a time. Look into the three circles in your life (health, relationships, financial well-being and satisfaction) and think about what one little thing you can do today, that if repeated over months, would make a positive difference. It can be a small thing to start with. Perhaps it’s 20 minutes of exercise. Maybe it’s writing a note to someone to express how much you appreciate them. It could be a commitment to 15 minutes of one on one time with someone you love, with no agenda except to experience the time with them. Perhaps it’s writing a page in the book that’s in your heart to write, or touching one new person per day in your business.
The point is, these little disciplines will begin to seep into all corners of your life. From there you can expand. You will feel good after doing each of these things. Basked in that feeling for a minute. Acknowledge to yourself that this is good. This can begin the path to a rich life.
Learn to make instant gratification work for you and you will have a life full of true gratification.