Immediacy vs Deferred Gratification

I’ve been thinking about this for a while- Why is it so easy to make grand plans about what I should do, yet so hard to execute some times?

I think it comes down to immediacy vs. deferred gratification – what’s happening now versus looking into the future towards your goal, and stopping behavior that will impede your path towards that goal.

A candy bar today looks like a small treat, a good thing, not the devil impeding your way towards weight loss. Getting distracted, willingly or not, and procrastinating things you should and can do to make your life better-somehow, going to the movies seems innocent and pleasure filled, while sending out more book proposals seems unappealing and likely to lead to rejection, so why bother at all?

Yet in the end, it’s those things we’re willing to put sustained effort in, see through to the end, that gives us a sense of accomplishment and success.  Seth Godin’s book The Dip is largely about deciding when you should see something through the bad times, and when to giveit up as a lost cause.

This feeds into my theory on ADHD, which is that people with ADHD are really great at the first 90% of a job or task, but closing the job, bringing it to completion- that’ the real problem.  And that last 10% makes all the difference between failure and success.

I talk openly about getting diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, and what recognizing that has done for my ability to push through the hard times and see more things through to completion.  I now know that when I don’t feel like doing something or I am avoiding something I think is hard or mildly unpleasant- here’s a danger zone.  If I let those little speed bumps slow me down, I will never get anywhere at all.   It thenis easier to psych myself up to just “do it” and get it done, and I feel SO much better afterwards, it’s always worth that extra effort against enertia.

With Planning Podcamp Philly , I’ve learned all those small steps along the way are like planting seeds; you never know when the plant will bloom, but when it does, it’s amazing.  It has shown me that little bits of hard work over time lead to bigger and better results in the end, and that friends are always willing to lend a hand if you let them know what’s going on.

So thanks to all my friends, supporters, Podcampers, and more.  Just remember- you’re in it for the long haul.  Not all returns are instantaneous.

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