Delayed gratification is the act of postponing a reward or satisfaction.
Research has shown that successful people have the ability to delay short-term reward for long-term gain.
Professor Walter Mischel from Columbia University conducted experiments to assess the ability of four-year-old children to delay gratification.
Children were given one marshmallow and told that they would get an additional one if they did not eat it within 15 minutes. Tracer studies, conducted later on, showed that those children who were able to delay gratification were more successful in school, business and life.
Indeed, self-discipline and an ability to wait are vitally important qualities that determine long-term success in both our business and personal lives. Saving money, university studies, sacrifices at work and in the family – these are all examples of delayed gratification. The greatest leaders, strategists and businessmen had this quality – they have all been able to sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term goals. Nelson Mandela, Warren Buffet and Mahatma Gandhi are some great examples from recent times. Let your greatest gratification be delayed gratification. Awaken your potential knowing that the power of delayed gratification is within you.
Success in life comes through sacrifices – not merely one or two, but many.
Sacrifice is the ability to give up a personal need for a more important organisational priority or a greater societal cause. Every time we make a sacrifice, we earn credits that accumulate and repay our investment multiple times in the future. The evidence can be seen in the lives of Mother Teresa, Gandhi, Mandela and every other truly great leader. Unsuccessful people are not capable of making sacrifices. They are self-centred – driven by fear and greed. They have a mentality of poverty and entitlement – they think that their organisations always owe them something. As employees, they are cynical, always complaining, assigning blame, and poisoning others.
Sacrifice requires the courage to give up short-term pleasure for long-term success – and to be different from the majority. Sacrifice requires compassion, a proactive attitude, and a spiritual wisdom that recognises the transitory nature of worldly pleasures. Look at great business leaders: how many lonely extra miles did they run? How many sleepless nights, late hours and working weekends did they endure? How many family sacrifices did they make and how many other sacrifices did they make which no one ever noticed? In life, in order to go up you have to give up. If you are rich, give your wealth and if you are poor give your heart. Awaken your potential, knowing that the power of sacrifice is within you.
Altruistic actions lead to success. All great leaders were altruists – they worked genuinely for the well-being of others. And they became great because of others. Altruism is about selfless behaviour, benevolence, generosity and compassion in action. True altruism is when the motivation for helping others comes out of one’s own heart – and not because of an expectation that a favour will be returned. True altruism is anonymous. Selfish behaviour is driven by negative energy and leads to contraction, narrow-mindedness and misery.
Altruistic behaviour generates positive energy and leads to freedom, expansion and happiness. Good actions create good reactions and bad actions create bad reactions – this is a law of the Universe. According to Steven Covey, our life progresses from dependence to independence and finally to interdependence. As we mature, we realise that everything in this Universe is interdependent.
We realise that our happiness depends on the people around us and we exist because of others – we realise the great wisdom of Ubuntu. When we are gone, we will not be remembered by what we had but by what we gave and how many human lives we touched. The divide between the rich and poor is greater than ever before. Therefore, as individuals, business and government, we must do much more for the poor and vulnerable. Choose a person, project or community you want to help and serve them selflessly. Only through action can we create long-term collective prosperity and peace.
Choose to live in the light of altruism instead of the darkness of selfishness. Awaken your potential knowing that altruism is within you.
There is no great person on this earth who achieved greatness without struggle. Sir Richard Branson, Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey and all the world’s great CEOs, warriors, scientists and politicians had to struggle to achieve their success in life. Each had to withstand suffering, risk and pain. Success in life has to be earned and deserved. It has to be won in life’s daily battlefields by conquering fear, uncertainty and temptation; by remaining true to one’s mission and by staying on the road less travelled; by sacrificing short-term pleasures for long-term goals; by persevering and enduring hardship; and by inspiring others and enduring hardship; and by inspiring others along the way.
Struggle is the essence of life, so do not try to escape it. Welcome struggle as an opportunity to develop, and your challenges will cease to be hardships. Only through constant struggle can we continually learn, change and develop. Only through struggle can we conquer our fears, achieve freedom and extend our boundaries of possibility. Let struggle be your way of life. Fight bravely. Love fiercely. And history will remember your legacy.
Proactiveness breeds success. Proactive people get up, act and solve problems while reactive people do nothing but complain, whine and moan. Proactive people are solution focused while reactive people are problem focused. Proactive people see opportunities while reactive people see difficulties. Proactive people create while reactive people destroy. Proactive people are special human beings – they talk little and do a lot, they are driven by a higher cause and not by ego, power and money. They lead by example, they walk the talk and they are true role models – quietly admired by their followers. Proactive people thrive on a positive energy generates more positive energy. One rotten potato spoils the whole bag. Where reactive people poison their colleagues with negativity, proactive people inspire, enthuse and excite the people around them.
Smell the roses and appreciate their beauty instead of focusing on the thorns. See the half-glass of water as half-full instead of half-empty. Take control of your future – do not give your power away. Stop complaining and blaming others, take responsibility, get up and act. Change your life and you will change the world around you. If we all do it, our world will be a better place in which to live. Be proactive, progressive and professional. Be productive, prompt and proper. Be profound, prosperous and prominent. Awaken your potential by choosing to be proactive.
It inspires me to think that you may embark on a journey of self-actualisation. Even more inspiring is the thought that, once you achieve success, you may choose the path of serving humanity. May you awaken your potential, knowing that everything you need to succeed is within you.
Dr Marko Saravanja
Taken from Pat Utomi’s Fb page