Sacrifice – Delayed Gratification
The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success. – Brian Tracy
Great investing requires a lot of delayed gratification. – Charlie Munger
It takes patience to become the best runner you can be. Top athletes realize that running is a long-term sport. It is set up for people who value delayed gratification and who like hard-earned success. – Anthony Famiglietti
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”― Charles Bukowski, Factotum
“Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Most of the valuable and great things in our lives stem from delayed gratification, sacrifice and self-control. From a personal point of view the road to hell is paved by shortcuts and taking the easiest route all the time.
If we are ruled by our passion and base senses of smell, touch and hearing, we are no worse off than the animals around us. Unfortunately, we have a majority of individuals that have been reduced to this state. Beyond day to day survival most of us only think of satisfying our most immediate urges.
This is why drug abuse, alcoholism and other vices are a major threat in the world today. Cell phone and social media addiction is another major issue that is affecting many individuals over the globe. Concentration spans have been reduced to 5 minutes.
The long and tough road of innovation, constant skill development and improvement is a path most of us avoid if possible. This require self-control and sacrifice in its highest form.
Construction of a House
The foundation of any building is the most important aspect in construction. As we find in most things in life, not all things are equal. Walls and the roof in a house are important but not as important as a great foundation.
A house faces many tests of nature. The earth is always moving beneath us. Tectonic plates under the surface are moving. At times we have sudden shifts in the tectonic plates that cause earthquakes. The test of any building is surviving a major earthquake still intact.
The owners of buildings that followed building codes strictly and ensure their foundations were built to specification usually survive these earthquakes. We have major storms that hit buildings. Some buildings have their roofs blown off and others collapse due to poor foundations and weak structural structures.
Japan and earthquakes
Japan is a country that suffers the peril of earthquakes constantly. It is located alongside 4 tectonic plates. They have had to adapt to this fact and ensure building codes are strictly adhered to. After a major earthquake in 1929 that killed over 140,000 people they started ensuring earth quake building codes are enforced.
They have had 2 major building codes introduced over the decades. A 1950 and 1981 earthquake resistant building codes ensure they can withstand a magnitude 7 earthquake. This culture of constant improvement has ensured that they are able to withstand the impact of major earthquakes.
These earthquake building codes have been refined over 97 years and counting. They are still been improved constantly as I write. In contrast due to endemic corruption most third world countries don’t enforce their building codes and standards.
This is witnessed when major earthquakes hit less developed nations. Haiti, Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey are prone to major seismic activity and they have suffered devastating earthquakes that have killed many people.
Where building codes cannot be adhered to due to corruption, people perish. Here in my home country I witness this year after year. Buildings are always collapsing due to poor reinforcement of building codes and standards. The immediate gratification due to corruption leaves consequences that are reaped down the line.
Sacrifice over the long term
Delayed gratification requires sacrifice. We have to give up something in order to get something I return. Persistence and resilience in the face of difficulties and obstacles forges an indomitable spirit.
Before we undertake any major undertaking, we need to quantify what is required in the short and long run.
When we witness a skilled individual and admire them i.e that doctor engineer, lawyer, programmer, artist, musician, remember that skill is usually honed over a long stretch of time.
Nature always guides us. Trees that take a longer time to mature such as the hardwood variety of trees are considered way more valuable than their softwood counterparts. Nature abhors short cuts and always rewards delayed gratification.
The best wines are the longer matured wines. The best spirits are the spirits that have been matured longer. The best cooked meals had longer preparatory time and are slow cooked. The best relationships are developed over time.
As we hum along in our 2024 journey, we need to think of the key sacrifices and delayed gratification we need to make to ensure key goals are achieved. What key area or goal in your life do you consider will need delayed gratification to build up?
This cuts across habit formation, wealth accumulation, relationship enhancement and skills development. Have a prosperous 2024 and aim for the sky.