Brenda’s Blog – June 2, 2015
“I know I will feel awful in the morning, but it just feels so good when I am doing it.”
The lady in the booth behind me told her friends of her screaming headache as I tried to eat my early breakfast. “You have been here before – why don’t you learn?” Her friends offered this question – exactly the same one I was thinking.
Her inane response didn’t shock me, but it set me on a thought trail as I ate my yummy meal.
“Delayed gratification” taught us to give up a short-term satisfaction for something much better in the future. Our parents preached the lessons of prioritization and values-based decision making. Certainly, we made some mistakes and grabbed for the low-hanging fruit at times, but we also learned the lesson of sacrificing instant pleasure for long term satisfaction.
Living in the moment is emphasized to the detriment of planning and good thinking. Having an attitude which appreciates what is going on right now is positive. Seeing and enjoying what is in front of us is helpful. Too many people wish away days by always wanting something better.
But focusing on the present to the neglect of long term planning is foolish and opens us to sad outcomes. I am convinced total attention to “right now wants” hinders my development.
“When you want to do something wrong and you think you have to do it, just tell your body you won’t do it.” I smiled as I listened to my son counsel his four year old son. Self-control is a critical element of successful living. Maturity teaches us to say no even when we desperately want to say yes. Thinking beyond the moment is a measure of emotional growth.
Extending our mental parameters helps us make better decisions. “What are the natural consequences of this action?” “How will this affect me tomorrow, next month, in five years?” “Who will be impacted by my decision?” When we stop to ask ourselves questions we enable better outcomes.
Short term thinking often has a high price tag. Consequences have a long reach.