If success has eluded us, when we know we could be doing so much more, the time to reevaluate life is here. We must be honest with ourselves, the hard choices made, a plan with defined goals, yet with the flexibility needed in the real world should be thought out. Change begins when we recognize that must master ourselves, holding in check our desires, passion, and excesses.
There are few things in life we have control over, yet what we choose to consume is one that we alone determine. The things we put into our bodies and minds matter. If we fill our days with low-grade fuel and thoughts, how can we expect anything good to come out of it? It’s about time we step up, make the uncomfortable choices, take personal responsibility, this is when we stop letting others choose what is best for us.
I have learned a few important lessons in the last two years. I had been under the mistaken impression that I didn’t need to learn anymore, and boy was I wrong.
The road to success is paved with failures. The important thing is to learn along the way.
When I train Jiu-Jitsu, I enjoy getting myself into really bad positions on the mat, and then patiently work my way out of those positions. My habit is to then take the first submission that presents itself after I have worked my way out. I recently realized that I have been cheating myself and those I train with by not letting the whole scenario play itself out before looking for that submission.
So where is the lesson in this? Well, in the world we live in now we have become used to instant gratification. We get things fast, we save time etc. It turns out, however, that the most successful people in life tend to be those who delay gratification. I am not just talking about monetary success, but success in achieving goals and living a fulfilling life.
I did a little investigating into the theory of delayed gratification and I found the Stanford Marshmallow experiment. It was a simple test where they would give a preschool-aged child the option of being given one marshmallow or waiting for twenty minutes alone and being given two marshmallows instead. Years later they followed up with the now grown children, and found that the ones who had opted to wait for a larger reward had lower BMI (body mass index) and higher SAT scores in general.
Take that idea of twenty minutes, and expand it to the time it would take you to reach your goals. A year or two is nothing in the big scheme of life. Take health for example. If you lose weight over a few weeks or a month, and then go back to eating the same way, you will soon be back to your original weight or even higher. If, instead, we change our priorities and reward system to get rid of the instant gratification, we will reap the benefits in the long term. Isn’t that reward worth the wait?
We can also apply this lesson to living as a Christian. We are all sinners, not one of us is perfect, but does that mean we can just go ahead and give in to temptation today? I would hope not, because we have been promised a place in the kingdom. That promise can help us stand strong and strive to live the way we have been called to live during our time here on earth.
1 Corinthians 10:13
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.