There’s a battle going on inside you that you may not have fully
realized. Two voices fighting for supremacy that have absolute
control over everything you do. Individually, these voices determine
whether you spend your entire life burdened by mediocrity or being
lifted by greatness.
It’s up to you which one will win…kind of.
Have you ever had something really important you needed to do, but
instead of actually doing it you find yourself sitting in front of the
TV? That’s one of your voices winning. We’re going to call that voice
“instant gratification." Have you ever had a day in which you got so
much done, your normally weighted down shoulders felt as if they were
filled with helium? We’ll call that voice “delayed gratification."
Human beings, just like other animals, are hardwired with a very
dominant instant gratification voice. Successful human beings learn
how to overpower that with delayed gratification. There was a time
when if you didn’t value instant gratification, you would likely
starve to death. It was all about picking the low-hanging fruit or
making the easy kill. At nightfall you latched onto the closest
available shelter so that you weren’t eaten, and according to folklore
you either wasted little time in clubbing the right woman to carry
your genes or you risk losing her to someone else. Ah, such a simpler
Today, we no longer have these problems. In fact, through the many
advancements that brought us modern life, most of us have infinitely
more time and resources than ever before. While instant gratification
has become a hindrance to us that leaves us blowing through our money,
taking out loans we don’t need, choosing the pleasure of our favorite
show over a good workout, eating fast food instead of a home cooked
meal, and even failing to ever really set our core values in life, the
voice of instant gratification is just as strong as he ever was.
As I mentioned though, there is another side. Another voice. This is
the one that tells you that you should be working out more. It’s the
one that tells you not to allow the little things in your life to
build into something bigger. It’s the one that aches for some type of
greatness that’s bigger than winning the lottery. It’s that voice that
tells you that you don’t believe in what you’re doing and is begging
you to lay the framework to do something that will make you happy.
It’s the voice that tells you what it is that you believe in the first
place. Delayed gratification could also be called your conscience.
For most people, quite sadly, we’ve been conditioned to listen more to
our instant gratification side rather than our conscience. Think about
it: when you’re first born, your only real reality is what you want
right now. You may feel a bond to people that take care of you but in
all reality, those people are barely real. You like them because they
make you feel comfortable and safe. It’s all about you. Where does the
conscience or delayed gratification come in? Not until your parents
start teaching you to be a good person. It’s in there somewhere, but
to really come out it must be learned. As you can see, it starts out
weaker than the IG voice and in most people it never changes.
The difference between most highly successful people and everyone else
is usually that the successful person has created a bigger vision and
has learned to silence his instant gratification voice in favor of
delayed gratification. This is a big reason that when someone with a
smaller vision wins the lottery, they quickly end up broke. People
with a bigger vision usually end up taking it from them.
Not only does our IG voice start out strong, it’s actually exercised
far more often throughout most of our lives. There are hundreds of
little choices we make each day that we don’t even realize we’re
making, and most of those lead to whatever makes us more comfortable
right in that moment. We reinforce the IG voice over and over again
without even realizing it, and then when we get home and think, “I
really should cook a healthy meal,” you’re left wondering how you just
managed to spend your intended healthy night chowing on pizza while
watching Jersey Shore.
It’s simple: your IG voice has been winning all day, and you’re used
to listening to it. It wasn’t a stretch to do it one more time.
Wouldn’t it just be amazing if you could silence that voice? Imagine
what you could get done in your life. Perfect abs, larger bank
account, less clutter in your house, better relationships, never
giving in to temptation again when you know you shouldn’t. It’s huge,
right? Well, too bad--stop dreaming because you can’t silence that
voice. What you CAN do though is develop the other. Every decision you
make goes to one of these two voices, and most of the time your IG
voice tramples your much weaker delayed voice...but if you could
change that, you could have all of those things I mentioned above and
Bam! Action Jeans! There's probably no reason for this picture.
So the question is, how can you change such a thing? As I said, you
are always making tiny decisions. Each of these decisions either
strengthens or weakens you and as you’ve seen, it’s usually the IG
voice fighting for the weakening decision. Because most of these
decisions are made unconsciously it’s hard to stop them, but make no
mistake, the groove of habit is wearing deeper whether you’re aware of
it or not. So how could you combat something you don’t even know
you’re doing? First of all, you pay attention. Try to notice when you
are making each small choice throughout your day. If you’re sitting
there watching television, you are in that very moment making a
choice. If you decide to get off the couch and go wash your car,
another choice. You can almost always stop what you’re doing and do
something better for you, and you should always be aware of this.
Next, a trick I like to use is exercise; specifically, short bursts of
body weight workouts at home. I can do them any time I want and they
require no equipment. The power in this is that by making the work
intense, I can create a situation in which my IG voice is not just
whispering hypnotically in my ear to take the easy route, he’s instead
screaming his power-drunk head off. He’s pushing buttons that are
playing with my rationale and trying everything he can to get me to
quit and just go back and sit on Facebook where I'll be "happy".
This is by far the most powerful time to shut that voice down. It’s
the best time to find that little voice left inside of you that is
pushing you forward. That little bit of delayed gratification that
knows why you’re doing this. That little bit of conscience that knows
that this will make you a better and stronger person for finishing it.
Find that voice and do everything you can to amplify it. Let him work
the ground beneath him and push you forward. Know that every time he
wins, that groove gets deeper while the dust settles in on the old
Remember, it’s not just exercise, it’s training.
Tips for a good workout:
1. Make the workout short (20 minutes or less) so that when
you’re really wanting to quit, you know you just have to stick it out
for a couple more minutes. It helps.
2. Make sure you have everything you need to do the workout
without much setting up or leaving your house.
3. If you have the knees and health for it, running is great for
this. At that point where you just can’t run anymore, keep running.
4. Fight for that last rep, and if it’s safe, fight for 3 more.
5. Make sure the workout is just on your edge of what is safe
and possible. It should be daunting but possible.
6. Lower body and full body exercises are most effective here.
7. Be safe. Check with your doctor. Do whatever you have to do
but be safe.
8. Do these workouts often (even daily?). It does no good if
you aren't consistent.
9. Push for a record each time you do the workout, and
continually make it harder to maintain the level of difficulty.
10. Always keep great technique.
11. Finally, don’t quit. This is huge. If you quit under any
circumstances other than threat of injury or pain that you shouldn’t
be having, you will set yourself back substantially, and it’s very
easy to quit again next time.
That’s it for today. I know I’ve been absent for a little while, but
you will be seeing a much more ambitious posting schedule from me from
Until next time,
PS: If you found this helpful, please hit like for Facebook below. As
always, I’m accepting Stumbleupon love and if you want to be alerted
of new posts or get some extras I don’t post here, please follow me on