We are fortunate in the extreme to live in a world that for the most part, affords us with loads of opportunity and a relatively affluent lifestyle. It does though, come at a price. And one of the ways we ‘pay’ – is that we have forgotten how to ‘work and toil for reward’.
Everything comes so easy. We want food, we head to the supermarket – most of us don’t go to the trouble of growing and cultivating it ourselves. We live in an ‘I want it now – and I expect to get it now’ society. This also goes to ‘ranking’ in martial arts culture.
Many people don’t see the work as the priority – and many are, in my opinion, over-focused on getting the new belt – rather than being satisfied and fully invested in the training.
Check out the famous ‘marshmallow experiment’ – in which kids are offered a choice between one marshmallow now, or two if they are prepared to wait just 15 minutes. You guessed it – the majority couldn’t find it within themselves to wait. In one version of this famous experiment, the subjects were tracked into their adulthood – and the minority who possessed the ‘will power’ to wait the extra 15 minutes to get the two marshmallows, were far and away happier and more successful than their counterparts who opted for instant gratification.
So it seems, that those who overcome their craving for instant gratification – and swap ‘short term gain’ for ‘long term better-gain’ – seem to do well in the game of life.
This idea can be applied to so many aspects of our lives … and, in my opinion, it is skill we can work at and develop.
If you are 20-30 years old – and you can forego the short-term pleasure of spending 100% of your earnings – and can put away just 10% of that money and invest it – you will be a millionaire several times over by the time you are 50. And that’s just one slice of the pie – developing some will-power affords us many an opportunity to do better in the long run.
Please ‘Google’ the marshmallow experiment if you have not heard of it … I hope you take this important lesson on-board. JBW
See you in class