Last week I wrote about the paradox of mindset, and how some see certain routines as rewards while others see those same routines as punishments. When I posted a link to the Notes on my LinkedIn, someone posted the following comment:
“Great read Ed. I think the mindshift is to understand that tough, consistent routines will always lead to rewards. What most get stuck or frustrated with is long time frames to see the reward.”
I could not agree with this comment more!
It is far easier to see what lies ahead in the immediate future than in the distant future, and when you consider the rewards that await us for the actions we take, our vision becomes even more shortsighted. For some, the short-term choice is easier. Which often makes being able to see beyond the immediate, and understanding the long-term reward that comes from good choices, much more difficult.
However, like the paradox of mindset and choosing to view routines as rewards, there’s a solution to this problem: long-term goals and inspiration!
Imagine a scale, the kind with two trays. The desire to eat some delicious pizza is on one side, the desire to eat a healthy salad on the other. The short-term reward would consist of the joy that comes from eating that pizza, the long-term reward would be to maintain good health with that salad, and the scales are evenly balanced because both rewards seem equally appealing.
Now add a long-term and inspiring goal of running a marathon to the equation. The weight of that inspiration alone would push the salad-side of the scale down, making your food choice a snap.
If your goal is truly inspiring, then the long-term vision will come easy. Without inspiration, it’s much easier to take the short-term reward. Inspiration is essential!
Nothing big comes easy. The routines that yield the greatest rewards tend to require longer-term thinking. Long-term thinking is critical for achieving Bold Goals! Without long-term thinking, how effective could an Action Plan truly be? Without long-term thinking, how inspiring could a goal be?
Long-term thinking is what gets you to the top of the mountain–and wouldn’t you rather be standing atop the mountain instead of on that much smaller hill?
Inspiration and long-term goals make the difference between climbing the hill and the mountain.
There are plenty of instances where you might be faced with choosing between the short-term rewards versus the long-term rewards. For example, the opportunity to have drinks with friends or studying for that PhD dissertation would be one instance; eating a delicious pizza versus eating a salad would be another. But consider the long-term rewards–would that night knocking back a few beers get you closer to that degree? Would eating that pizza help you look good when you go to the beach in the summer?
Of course, if you eat healthy all the time, eating that pizza on Saturday night doesn’t mean you’re throwing away your long-term objectives. When faced with a choice, just ask yourself this: “Would I make the same choice if I were thinking long-term?” That long-term vision, plus a truly inspiring goal, can help ensure you make the right choices every time!
Keep living Bold!
P.S. PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success is a complete system for planning your life to get what you want, and has been a top seller in three categories: “Motivational Growth & Spirituality”, “Personal Success & Spirituality” and “Management Skills”. I hope you check it out if you have not purchased a copy.