The big magic in self-discipline is that it gives you the ability to delay gratification. We are pleasure-seeking, pain avoiding creatures, and we are easily distracted by novelties, trivialities, and comfort. But giving in to pleasure now means stealing from your future results. Avoiding what is uncomfortable now guarantees a lot more pain in the future.
Is what you are doing right now helping you to produce the results you need in the future?
Is there something else that you could be—or should be—doing to produce the future results you need?
Pay for Your Future Results Now
If what you are doing right now isn’t helping you to deliver the future results you need, then you are stealing from your future.
At some point, your future will arrive and greet you with the pain of having not done what needed to be done earlier. You won’t find the results you wanted in the future because you didn’t pay the price for those results when you should have, when you had the chance.
You pay for your future results with the actions you are taking now. You steal from that future when you don’t.
If you want to make next year’s sales number, you build the pipeline that will produce that number starting in the second half of the current year. If you want next year to be better than this year, you have to pay for that future right now.
If you want to develop your big deal dream clients in the future, you start nurturing those relationships now. To open the relationships you need in the future, you need to establish a track record of value creation now.
If you want your sales team to be better prepared to create value for your clients in the future, you spend time coaching, training, and developing them now. The time you spend developing your sales team now is a down payment on your future results.
You don’t have to delay gratification forever. The future always arrives faster than you imagined it would, and there isn’t a way to cram the real work of producing results when you really need them. Your need for results in the future doesn’t do anything to bend the laws of nature to make up for lost time.
What results do you need in the future?
What do you have to do now to achieve those future results?
What do you do that steals your future results from you?
How much time could you steal back to build your future results? Where would you find that time?
What future regrets are you choosing by avoiding the work you should be doing now?