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Originally published: 1.16.2011

Gratification is the pleasurable emotional reaction of happiness in response to a fulfillment of a desire or the fulfillment of a goal.

Instant Gratification is used to label the satisfactions gained by more impulsive behaviors.
Lifestyle: A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person.
Time + Money + Health = LIFESTYLE
Instant gratification feels good at first, then we kick ourselves after and go from one step forward to three steps back. Why do we do it? Especially when we know that one step forward was such an achievement for us. It took so much gumption for us to accomplish, then within a split second of weakness and temptation we lose ourselves and fall backwards. Food, relationships, money, careers, friendships, physical activity, spirituality… they are all interconnected. We are human and all face the same challenges and fears, they are just revealed through different stories. Life is about bio-individuality but if one thing is true for us all, what we want most should always prevail over what we want now. I myself am guilty of wanting the pleasure of instant gratification…if you say you have never been guilty of it you’re probably lying. 🙂 If not, then teach us all guru!
For a lot of individuals, instant gratification is a way to escape our real life and circumstances instead of taking them head on and dealing with it. Every time we indulge our selves in that piece of chocolate cake, clear out our hard earned savings to go on that fancy vacation with all of our friends, changing hair color and getting a fake tan to feel like someone new, frozen in the lazy boy to watch movie/show marathons, have one too many drinks at the bar, walk out of the mall with a maxed out credit card or a declined debit card…it’s all ways we escape. We are in a world of I want now now now. In that short period of time we forget everything and feel on top of the world. Our mind stops and momentarily your worries just fade away.
I am going to expose myself a little here because it’s relate-able. In my younger years, in no chronological order, I have dealt with compulsive shopping; anything I could find to feel prettier and sexier like the other girls, became a TV addict so I can live through others lives instead of my own, spent many nights alone eating toasted bagels with cream cheese and Friday’s brownie obsessions whenever I felt like it (usually at 1am), etc…
As I have grown and matured, the lessons continue into the most current year of 2010-2011, from dealing with health related issues such as semi-severe candida struggles as well as the emotional where am I going in my life and what is my purpose? Every decision we make in our life is crucial to our well-being and to our success.
What is more important right now Cassi? The instant gratifying taste of cookies and bread or the long term feeling of being free of stomach pains, skin inflammation and break outs?
Do I dip into my savings to go on that vacation or how bad do I want to get my apartment?
As long as we see the big picture in front of us, our decisions become easier. At this point in my life, the choices I make have become much easier and without much thought needed (See the chapter on Auto-Suggestion in the book Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill), but as any human, I still come across struggles of do I do this or do I do that? Battlefield of the mind. So how we do we cope with it? Here are two powerful quotes I read in the book “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth the other day.
“Change happens not by hatred, but by love. Change happens when you understand what you want to change so deeply that there is no reason to do anything but act in your own best interest.”
“When you believe in yourself more than you believe in food, you will stop using food as if it were your only change at not falling apart.”
Whatever may be your vulnerable and weak spot, the answer is the same. What we want most should always prevail over what we want now.
We need to learn to keep a laser focus and have our dreams and goals in front of us everyday. This comes much easier to us when we eliminate distractions, whether it be video games, tv, Facebook (is reading that person’s status about how they just checked into Applebees and they have to go to the bathroom really a positive impact in your life? Meanwhile, now you just bumped into a display of Cadbury eggs at Target because your eyes were fixated on your blackberry. After all that, I hope you can at least give yourself a good laugh!) Listen, I am guilty of the facebook status reading and sucked into the photo album viewing too. Facebook is a great tool if used appropriately.
For me, it takes having a dream board, posting pictures and index cards all over my wall of what I want.
Aside from the quotes above, some other things I have up are:
My personal positive affirmations.
Question cards to reflect on daily:
What have I done for myself today?
What have I done for my business today?
What am I grateful for today?
Who have I served today?
What did I do to move closer to achieving my goal today?
My goals are listed in the form of words AND pictures. Pictures are important because we are visual. It takes seeing ourselves there. Write yourself a check for a $1000, put a picture of the cruise boat you want to go on, the home you want to buy, the charity you want to donate to, the friend/family member you want to be able to help, the car you want to buy (on the one payment plan), the body you want, etc….get the picture!? 😉
Back to avoiding distractions, as another example, for me, its the decision I have made recently to stop dating. Will I go out, have fun and make new friends? Absolutely, I am single and 24! But without the intention and thought of “Where will this go?” Insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Where do I want to be next year? Where do I want to be in 6 months? 3 months? I’ve had to ask myself everyday, what is more important…my independence and freedom as a young, successful woman or going out with another guy when I know before I even go out that I am settling for less than I deserve, just for that instant of this feels good right now…even if I know it’s going nowhere and will end negatively. Whether it’s him that gets hurt, or me…it becomes a temporary distraction in which I can set myself back for days, sometimes weeks. What we focus on grows. (Thank you Brandon for setting my standards so high since I was a little girl as to my deserving of not just a man, but a Warrior…who will share in the fight for Freedom with me!)
Another tip to staying on track is finding a friend or mentor to be accountable to. Not monthly, not weekly, but DAILY! We are faced with challenges everyday. All it takes is one day/bad decision to fall off track. When we know we are accountable to someone we tend to think twice about every decision we make. We don’t want to let our mentor/friend down.
In my my life, my mentors know what I want short term and long term and they keep me on track regularly asking me what did I do today to get closer to that goal? (Whether it’s through CDs, books, one on one counseling, etc…). It’s all a form of mentorship. I am grateful for them everyday. They know who they are. 🙂 Another example, I am now accountable to my friend Matt on a daily basis as to what I am eating and my boot camp workout. I have achieved great success last year in my health with food changes and increased fitness abilities/strength, but I capped and I knew I couldn’t do it alone anymore. In both of these examples, I didn’t just choose anyone…I am accountable to people whom I respect, who are supportive of what I want and who are the end result examples of what I am looking to achieve. Mentally and monetarily ( my LTD business coaches) and physically (Matt).
If you feel lost, that’s okay! Whether 24 or 74, we have all been there one time or another. I can relate, because at this stage in my life I have a lot of choices to make, but it will only overwhelm me and defeat me if I let it.
Attitude is everything. If we have the right attitude, anything is possible. We will find ourselves, we will find our purpose and we can overcome anything. The slight edge decision. Every little choice we make has a long term effect on what is to come in the future. It’s a ripple effect. “The Slight Edge” is an amazing book and another topic in itself which I will touch on another time.
If you really want answers, learn to quiet your mind so you can listen to your heart and your body. Most of all, learn to forgive yourself. We are not here to reach perfection, but rather to strive to be the best version of ourselves.
What does success mean to you?
What does lifestyle mean to you?