By Jim Estill : People respect those who persevere. We respect people with university degrees because we know they sacrificed and stuck with it. We respect athletes – most of whom sacrifice a lot to succeed. The same is true in business. I get a lot of respect because I have been doing this for 25+ years.
There is power in delayed gratification.
Most success happens over the long term. In my Ted talk I talked about taking 7 years to get to $10,000,000 in sales and then another 8 years to hit $100,000,000. And when I was doing over $1B, I never grew by less than $100,000,000/year and often that much in a quarter.
People who can put off immediate rewards and work towards longer term ones tend to be more successful. Procrastination is often caused by people taking the short term reward (sitting on the couch and watching TV) over the short term sacrifice (going for a run or learning) to achieve the long term reward (fitness or knowledge)
One of my favourite quotes is “we tend to over estimate what we can accomplish in a day but underestimate what we can accomplish in a year or a decade.”
A friend of mine recently emailed me the following:
“The race is not always to the swift, but to those who keep on running.”
Why Willpower – Success Habits
I just finished reading a summary of “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg on Readitfor.me (that is a great trick for the efficiency minded like myself).
I have always known habits are important. I even call the Success Habits. And I work on my own habits constantly. I am always trying to find new and better ones. Habits magnify over time. The example I used in my TedX talk was 10 calories more per day and you gain 1 pound per year. Take 200 more steps per day and you lose 1 pound a year. Over 20 years, that is 20 pounds.
One of my favourite expressions is “we tend to overestimate what we can accomplish in a day and underestimate what we can accomplish in a decade”. Habits particularly accentuate this success.
What I found fascinating in Duhigg’s book was he cited scientific proof that when something is habitual, it takes less thinking. Or put another way – it takes less willpower. One of my favourite authors – Daniel Pink has done studies that show that willpower is limited. Choose not to eat that donut in the morning and you are more likely to eat that piece of cake with dinner.
Habits are the shortcut to willpower. If you have good habits, everyone will think you have good willpower.