Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram all have something in common that undermines the path to your success in life. They are really good at creating distractions and wasting your time with notifications, friends requests, pictures and messages. Though in the moment, those online platforms don’t feel like a waste. That notification/dopamine fix is just what the doctor ordered, feeding your brains obsession with getting what you want right then and there, but in the long run, that fix does little for you.
A lot of people’s decisions they make in life are similar to responding to the notification on a social media site. It feels great in the moment, but doesn’t do much for them long-term. The problem is that most people would rather do whatever they feel like doing in the moment rather than focus on the hard work that achieving future goals requires. Its easier to buy that big mac than to go home and make something healthy for yourself, even though your body would love you for it. But those short-term decisions end up doing more harm than good and don’t help us live up to our full potential.
So how do we change our thinking? What do you need to do to focus more on the long game and less on the immediate short term? Here are three strategies that’ll help you start making that shift.
What Can You Put Off?
So much of life nowadays can be done with a push of a button, especially when it comes to buying things we don’t need. So what can you not do right now? That Mcdonald’s isn’t all that healthy for you, right? Keep walking and make yourself something when you get home. You’ll be able to purchase that book from Amazon tomorrow, right? Putting off little choices such as these will begin to increase the discipline muscles in your brain and slowly but surely you’ll start to get used to making choices that are good for you rather than making ones that achieve an instant reward.
Can I Do Better Myself?
Is there a class you’ve always wanted to take? A skill you’ve always wanted to learn? Studying a subject in depth is not only a form of self-improvement, but also a path toward the future. An aid over time that creates the person you want to be. Look for opportunities for future gains such as education that require a longer commitment, this will not only give you the ability to succeed in longer endeavours it will improve your mind and employment opportunities too.
What Am I Getting Out Of It?
Sometimes things don’t appear as beneficial in the short term, such as working until 3am in your business after you’ve already worked a full day at your other job. In the moment, this feels like a hard choice, especially when there’s a nice warm bed or a funny cat video to watch on youtube. And yet, if you don’t make that hard choice, then you’ll never get your business to a place you need it to be to stop working your day job. That’s why it's important to ask the question will this matter in the long term?
Focusing on the future will keep you going when all you want to do is give up, and the more you achieve in your long term plans, the easier and more rewarding doing them becomes.
Author: Ronsley Vaz
Ronsley is the founder & chief day dreamer at AMPLIFY. He is an author, speaker & serial entrepreneur.
He has a Masters’ degree in Software Engineering and an MBA in Psychology and Leadership. He is known as the creator of We Are Podcast – the first Podcasting Conference in the Southern Hemisphere, and the host of The Bond Appetit Podcast and Should I Start a Podcast. He has an audience of over 3 million in 133 countries.