This guest post was written by the lovely and talented Kelly Pozzoli, SuperCamp lead facilitator and snowboarding enthusiast.
“Is this in line with what I believe?”
“Are my priorities straight?”
“Is it worth it?”
For some reason, obvious and logical questions like these tend to escape our radar from time to time. We do things that might have seemed like a good idea at the time, but ended up proverbially kicking ourselves in the faces.
We give in to temptation because it feels right in the moment. We get caught up in short-sighted thinking. We momentarily forget to consider the consequences, or we find a way to rationalize them. We give in to our impulses, focusing on the now instead of panning out to look at the big picture. We make seemingly valid excuses for our actions so that we can have what we want in the meantime.
Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain
The concept is simple. Think about any test you’ve ever had looming on the horizon. You know you need to do well on this test, and in order for that to happen, you need to study. You make a study plan and schedule in breaks. It starts off innocently enough until you find yourself spending most of your nights checking in on the latest and greatest of Jersey Shore, not to mention the entire series of Breaking Bad (after all, it just won all those Emmy’s and you have a lot of catching up to do). Suddenly it’s a few days before the test, and you haven’t so much as cracked a book. Call off Snooki, now you have a real Situation on your hands. The test is here, and you’re unprepared. Cueing up Breaking Bad on Netflix was intended to be for your down time from studying and somehow turned into the main event. It seemed all right at the time, but now you’re going to bomb the test. You chose to indulge in TV instead of studying (short term gain), and as a result, you failed the test (long term pain).
Short Term Pain, Long Term Gain
Now think about saving money to buy a car. You set up a savings plan and budget your cash accordingly…on paper (that’s the easy part). However, you tend to be an impulse shopper- buying that oh-so-cute-and-trending-now sweater in the window that you just have to have, or being seduced by the samples at the grocery store and scooping up several boxes of whatever’s being dished out. But, not this time. You see that sweater, maybe even go so far as to try it on, but upon inspecting the price tag, decide that a car is much more important to you than having new gear. And instead of purchasing several boxes of what you’ve sampled, you make note of what the product was and try to work it into next week’s carefully constructed grocery list. You’re on a budget, which is kind of horrible, but you want that car, so the tears shed during your sweater heartache (short term pain) are quickly forgotten the day you hand over that sweet, sweet down payment on your first new car (long term gain).
Imagine looking in the mirror and knowing you are better than the vices that gobble up so many others in society–that you are stronger, smarter, and more in line with your values. That image looks even better from the rear-view mirror of that beastly car you worked hard to buy. That image looks better seeing those old temptations shrink behind you as you drive your life forward. That image is integrity.
What are some things that you could give up/forgo now in order to receive even bigger benefits in the future? Please share in the comments below!