Delayed Gratification: The Terrible Two’s
Lately I've discovered the joys of parenting during a child's “Terrible Twos” stage.
And boy… is it frustrating and tiring!
I've been spending most of my time with Ethan because Kelly is busy with our newborn.
My daily morning routine of getting Ethan out of bed, feeding him, taking him to poop and potty, brushing his teeth, putting clothes on, applying sunscreen and taking him to school can be as quick as 90 minutes or long as over two hours.
It's all up to Ethan's mood.
I love Ethan so much, but I must admit that it can be super frustrating at times, especially when I'm tired and my boy has boundless energy.
Taking care of him has been exhausting.
Since I get up at 3am, normally I am drained by 9am, and I have to take a two hour nap.
Luckily I work at home so I can nap whenever I want.
I didn't realize how tiring it really is until one day this week. Ethan had a slight cough and woke up an hour later, and I had an extra hour to myself. It was 8am, and I was still full of energy! But once Ethan got up, my battery went from 90% to 10%.
Regardless. it has been a blast and an incredibly joyful experience learning what is going on in a child's mind when he is two years old.
I've started investing time in reading books on different philosophies of raising toddlers and their brain development.
It doesn't matter what I read about raising kids, one thing is common.
The #1 factor that determines how well a kid behaves, excels in school, or performs in music or sports is…
the ability to delay instant gratification.
It's not the schools… not the books.. but the ability to talk yourself out of having something right now and be patient so that you can wait for something better.
That is the #1 factor that determines future success.
I've taken what I've learned and immediately started to teach Ethan delayed gratification.
One way I am teaching him is with food since he loves to eat.
Ethan is healthy and loves to eat grapes. I ask him, would he rather have one grape now, or if he waits for a minute, he can have five grapes.
He will whine about the one grape, but I've trained him to wait two – three minutes now before I give him the two grapes.
As he gets older, of course, I will stretch the length of time.
He's still too young to understand these dynamics, and that his patience is limited, but I'm gradually teaching and programming his success habits.
Biggest Cause of Failure Among Adults
I enjoyed teaching Ethan and started to think about adults.
Adults have that problem too.
We sabotage ourselves because we want something now.
We get into credit card debt because we want something now instead of waiting until we have the money to buy it.
We give up on going to the gym because we want to relax now instead of relaxing later.
MLM Distributors quit their businesses way too quickly because they want massive success immediately instead of paying the dues.
The average distributor gives in to immediate gratification and accepts corporate slavery instead of slowly working their way toward financial freedom.
I am a firm believer that we are born with unlimited potential, but we let ourselves stop.
We let our urge for immediate gratification derail us from achieving something better.
Three Solutions to Help You Avoid the Need for Instant Gratification
Fortunately there are three things you can do that will help you develop the habit of delayed gratification.
Your ability to stay focused and resist that urge won't happen overnight, but if you do these three things, you will gradually get better and better.
Just like you can train a child or train a dog, you can train yourself.
You just have to make that decision to train yourself today.
Here are the three things that will help you:
1) Delay The Immediate Urge To Eat What You Want
The next time you have a craving for something, make an intentional decision to choose something else.
Before you start saying how that takes the fun out of life, I did not say you resist it altogether. Just resist it for the immediate short term.
So for example, if you want to eat Mexican food tonight, make an intentional decision to delay that craving.
Go eat something else, and then have your Mexican food tomorrow instead.
The first time you do this will be weird, but the more you do it, you will soon learn that you can increase the duration of time between the initial resistance and satisfying the craving.
So start small by just delaying it just for one day and then you can slowly increase it to two days… and then three days, etc., etc.
Food is something that we eat everyday so this is an easy way to grow your new habit of delayed gratification.
Note that it is VERY IMPORTANT that you do satisfy your craving and reward yourself after you have delayed the urge.
You must reward yourself or life does become “no fun” and you will give up altogether.
We must reward ourselves, but do it only after a delay.
2) Delay the Fun Thing You Want to Do
Say you want to go hangout at the bar with your friends tonight or want to watch the basketball game at 10pm.
Instead of going immediately at 10pm, intentionally delay and go at 11pm.
Use that extra hour and do something that is productive. For example, go read a book, create your daily plan for tomorrow, etc. Just do anything as long as you don't cave in to your urge to go out.
If you have nothing to do, go clean the house… or take a nap… or better yet, just sit still and do nothing for an hour and meditate. If you have never done this before, it will bore you to death, but it will be good for you. Your mind needs to be calm, but that is another topic for another day.
If you have a hard time delaying, just ask yourself what is the worst thing that can happen.
If you meet up with your friends at 11 instead of 10, will you really miss out so much that you will remember it 10 years from now?
Chances are you won't and it won't matter in the long run.
Once you delay what you want to do, just like with food, make sure you reward yourself and do what you wanted to do.
I'm going to mention this again, but this is so important because failure to do so will make life boring, meaningless, and you will burnt out.
So reward yourself.
3) Gradually Increase Your Delay
As you develop the habit of delaying your gratification, you will soon pleasantly discover that it gets easier and easier.
The final step is to gradually increase your tolerance to the delay.
So if you were used to delaying eating what you want for one day, then slowly increase it to two days.
If you can delay watching TV for two hours and go to the gym instead, then slowly delay it to three hours and make yourself go to the gym and fit another activity in before you watch TV.
I spoke at my MLM Company's “Step to Success” training event in Los Angeles this past weekend, and one of the speakers who has experienced tremendous growth in the last three months was guy named Andre Gordon. When Andre shared the key to his success, he credited it to his ability to “push the limits” on what he can tolerate and bear.
While he pursued his dream in Hollywood, he would sleep on the a bare floor of a friend's apartment for months.
In other words, he had incredible tolerance and ability to delay instant gratification.
He could have given up on his dream and went back home and slept in a bed instead, but he chose to live the life he wanted. That meant making the sacrifices to live with the bare minimum until he made his dream a reality.
Today Is the First Day of the New You
Your dreams are a reality and within reach.
You just have to do what successful people do, and all successful people have the ability to delay instant gratification.
Apply the three tips that I just shared and in less than a week you will see how things will get easier and easier and you will start achieving more and more of your goals.
The OLD YOU would give in and do things that distract you from doing what is important to help reach your goals.
The NEW YOU knows better than to fall into the temptation of instant gratification and now you have three tips that will help you in developing your new success habit.
Apply them today and, afterwards, make sure you let me know the positive changes that you see in your life.
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