Are you distracted by shiny objects
The other day I received a gift. Someone close to me gave me "The Little Book of Big Quotes" from one of my favourite motivators - Zig Ziglar. I was so thrilled to receive this gift that I chalked it up as an early Christmas present.
It is full of many superb quotes, but one in particular drew my attention... "The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want right now!"
Are you as excited as a child on Christmas Eve?
This got me thinking about the joys of Christmas. There is a heightened sense of anticipation on Christmas Eve as kids struggle to fall asleep knowing that during the course of the night a man in a big red suit with a deep voice and cheery smile will be leaving a series of gifts under the Christmas tree.
They wake up eager and energised, making a bee-line towards their presents.
Wrapping paper is ripped to pieces and cast-off alongside the boxing that holds the latest toy or gismo that is making the rounds that year. Their smiles reveal their happiness as they play with their newly acquired status symbol!
Are you tossing aside your dreams?
But as the day draws to a close, these toys are often found, discarded in a corner, tossed away like a crushed coke-can. With the battery power fading, they soon lose their appeal and become expensive trophies that mark the time of brief enjoyment for their young owners.
What are you willing to sacrifice?
My mentor John Maxwell wrote about the Law of Sacrifice in his best-selling book "The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership." He says that "A leader must give up to go up."
When it comes to sacrifice, we have the choice of putting in the hard work up front and enjoying the rewards later, or taking instant gratification whilst putting off the task at hand until a later time. Maxwell teaches on the pitfalls of the latter strategy...
"You can pay now and play later, or play now and pay later." But whenever you put off the payment, the cost always increases because of compounding effect of the back-end.
Are you trading off what you want most for what you want right NOW?
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself the next time a shiny object catches your attention:
- What will it really cost me to do this now?
- What is the benefit to me to focus on this now?
- What will it cost me to do this later?
- Who will benefit the most if I focused on this now?
- What will I have to give up to make this a priority?
So, the next time that you get tempted to pick up that shiny object, use these 5 questions as your guideline and save yourself from losing something that you really want for something that you want now.