If you’re a parent, you know only too well how impetuous kids can be.
They want everything, at the same time, and they want it now.
Sadly, many adults behave the same way.
In today’s Internet-connected society, we’re bombarded with something like 5,000 marketing messages every day.
It’s little wonder we’re dopamine addicts.
I’ve been playing with Instagram for a few months now, and I’m regularly stunned at just how entrenched this thinking is.
Everywhere I look, there are images of Lamborghinis and mansions and movie stars, overlaid with platitudes about ‘crushing it’ and ‘proving the haters wrong’.
Going by the quality of the comments on these posts, I’d say most of the people who bathe in this crap are still very wet behind the ears and are dreamers more than doers.
These messages no doubt appeal to young, overly confident 20-somethings, but they mask the enormous effort and sacrifices required to build something substantial; something that endures beyond next month.
Or something of which to be proud.
They belittle the late nights, the early mornings, and most importantly, the dedication required to play the long game.
Financial success doesn’t come easily, or quickly.
Even the overnight successes that we admire in the start-up world and the sporting arena usually hide back-stories of struggle, failure and dogged determination.
Most stars take a decade or more to become outwardly ‘successful’.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my own struggles and failures, it’s that you while you can have just about anything you want, you usually can’t have everything you want at the same time. At least, not for a long time.
My kids love going to concerts.
They also happen to like fashion.
But as young teenagers, their earning capacity and the time they have available to generate income is limited.
So when say they need to study for exams and attend a Coldplay concert, and buy a friend a $100 birthday gift and secure more part-time shifts to pay for it all, I shake my head and smile.
Something has to give.
It’s the same with us adults.
It just isn’t possible to devote 14 hours a day to a career and spend quality time with the family and build a business on the side and get 8-hours sleep a night. Something will break.
Usually, it’s your family or your health that pay the price.
So what’s the trick?
Well, there isn’t one.
You have to let something go.
You have to decide what matters most to you and do less of the other things.
If possible, you need to outsource them.
I don’t want to spend any less time with my family or abandon my writing; they’re just too important to me.
So I have an accountant to do my taxes, a man to cut my grass, another man to wash my car and an advisor to help me with investing.
This way, I can focus on the stuff that matters to me.
Likewise, I can’t watch a movie every night nor can I go to parties; not without stealing time from the things I truly care about.
I’ve learned that if you try to have everything now, you’ll likely end up losing more than you’ve gained – probably things you can’t replace.
Instead, if you focus on your MIT’s (most important things); the things that build and compound over time, you’ll eventually reach a tipping point with your time and your resources.
You’ll possess enough money AND enough time to do or have just about anything you want.
And all at the same time, too.
The question is, what will you give up now so you can have everything later?