Beware, the rewards switch with time.

There are 2 ways to think about life.

  1. You can focus on The Now.
  2. You can focus on The Next.

When you think about The Now you are encouraged to do the things that are rewarded now. Sleep in. Relax. Have fun. Indulge. Spend. Eat. Drink. And hang out with Mary.

When you think about The Next you do the things that are rewarded next. You wake up early. Work. Focus. Study. Save. Exercise. Build. Carefully monitor your food, drinks, and activity with Mary. (And Ben and Jerry.)

Focusing on The Now is immediately enjoyable. Focusing on The Next makes now less enjoyable in most ways. (Sorry, Charlie.)

But beware, the rewards switch.

In a literal blink, you are past The Now and into The Next. And what is rewarded in The Next is the opposite of The Now. Which is what makes life and the decisions you make so interestingly complicated. And it is why I encourage you to tie the following quote to your decision tree:

“It almost always happens that when the immediate consequence is favorable, the later consequences are disastrous, and vice versa.

-Frédéric Bastiat, French Economist.

Key Takeaway

Always think about the long-term consequences of your actions and inactions. Invest your time, energy, and growth into a much larger payout in the future. A delay of gratification is most often rewarded with compounded interest in The Next. And it’s always well worth the wait.

*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.

+For more ideas on how to enjoy a better future, check out my new book What Does Your Fortune Cookie Say? from Ripples Media.