Instant Gratification is the culprit.
When I first watched the Marshmallow Test, I really felt for the children. Temptation right in front of them. The struggles they went through in their efforts to resist so they could get the bigger prize. Aside from gazing adoringly at the marshmallow, these kids got creative about giving in just a little: undetectable licks; nibbles on the underside of the marshmallow. Their faces were tortured as they did their best to resist. Around one-third actually managed it.
Our brains are programmed for immediate reward. This need and desire for instant gratification goes back millions of years to a time when survival and food were not guaranteed. Our ancestors reacted to their environment. They saw food and ate it, not knowing when they would have the opportunity again.
This programming makes going the distance to find a solution to the cause – not the symptom – much harder.
When we experience pain we’re uncomfortable fueling us with the motivation to change. We really don’t like change and avoid it until the pain of remaining the same is too great.
Whether we choose a quick fix or to put the work in for a longer term solution will depend on our mindset as well as the perceived return for our investment in a bigger end game.
Our mindset is complex. Layer upon layer of experience and the decisions we’ve made as a result create our unique perspective: the way we see ourselves, other people, opportunity and challenge.
Our mindset leads to actions and outcomes that may not support the success we dream of. How do we respond to that?
How we ‘choose’ to shift our mindset depends on whether we’re drawn to instant gratification or can see a more positive outcome if we put in the work to achieve genuine change.
If you could see your own possibilities – your pure potential – you’d happily choose to invest in your own future.
You’d delay gratification and focus on real and lasting change and reject the 3-5 tips as anything other than the bandaid they are.
Which future do you choose?