A lot of times the reason it seems we are failing and things aren’t working when on our journey to achieve a goal is because we want it done yesterday. There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve results fast and things can happen immediately.
A powerful concept I learned working with Tony Robbins is you must see things as they are not worse than they are. On the flip side you must see also see things not better than they are. The point is that we must develop the ability to see things clearly and be honest with ourselves with where we currently are in relation to where we want to be in achieving a result in life.
When we don’t do that we are setting ourselves up for failure in wanting the result complete now when sometimes it truly does just need more time. If my goal is to climb Mount Everest it would be insane for me to say I want to be at the peak of it tomorrow, next week, next month, or in the next 3 months. I’d be setting myself up for pain, frustration, and failure and keep feeding into that cycle.
This brings me to a a mental model by Charlie Munger called Overoptimism Tendency. Given that people tend to doubt themselves and beat themselves up in many cases, there is also a pattern where people have an excess of optimism about their ability when pain or the threat of pain is absent. A simple example of this is when you watch happy people buying lottery tickets.
So what do I mean by procrastinate instant gratification? It’s my concept of pushing off the things we want done yesterday into the future. Instead of wanting the goal done right now without giving yourself enough time to actually achieve it give yourself the proper amount of time to get it done.
I want to learn to play the guitar. In the past I’d keep setting goals to be great at it without enough time to put in the work to do it. Now I set it as a goal in a year and block out time for sessions with a guitar coach.
I also want to travel to many new countries like Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Argentina. Instead of hastily wanting to do it all at once or saying I can’t do it all so just don’t even bother, I schedule the trips out over the next quarters and years.
The magic is to use it when you feel the need to get everything done all at once. We all get that feeling of wanting instant gratification which is perpetuated in today’s culture with technology and social media because we have the privilege of having things done instantaneously in many cases.
It is a double edged-sword. If we don’t harness the power of it in a way that doesn’t get out of balance it can make us even less grateful and not realize the abundance we have. It is a concept called abundance scarcity. When you have so much you don’t even realize it because you are only focused on more which leads to a feeling of lack.
So use procrastination to your advantage. When you want something now, pause, take a breath, break the pattern and punt it out in time. Give yourself a break and appreciate what you’ve already got.