The one single mindset needed to succeed

Delayed gratification — the ability to resist the temptation of instant pleasure.

That’s it. Thanks for reading.

Kidding. Let’s look at some examples.

Money

I’m by no means a financial expert, let’s just get that out of the way. But if you want to get rich, the best way is to put the money on something that will generate more money. Invest in stocks, real estate, companies, etc. Through compound interest, that amount will be multiplied many times over in X years.

Let’s say you invest 300€ every month for 25 years. That would be a total of 90,000€ invested. With an interest rate of 7% (which is average), that amount would be around 240,000€. That means over 150,000€ earned without doing any work. Put a little more in or let the money sit a bit longer, and that number goes up a lot.

Instead of doing that, most of us (yes, myself included) spend money on things instead. We choose instant pleasure over delayed gratification. Buying cars we can’t afford, expensive designer clothes, the newest gadgets, a bigger house than we actually need — the list is endless. In many cases, we do it just to impress people we actually don’t like. Because of that, we need to work more at a job we hate just to be able to pay for those things. It’s an evil circle.
Sure, money doesn’t buy happiness, and we should live in the moment and all that. But true happiness is freedom. Having enough so we don’t have to worry about all the bills at the end of the month (and work a job we hate in order to pay them). Even if our paycheck covers the bills right now, we never know about the future. Just look at everything that has happened in the past couple of years.

Relationships

Instead of always needing to be right and needing to come first (instant pleasure), you might need to give now so you can later receive (delayed gratification). A healthy relationship has an equal amount of give-and-take from both parties.

Health

Instead of the pleasure of X (instant pleasure), you need to think about how it will affect you in the future(delayed gratification). X being e.g. eating something unhealthy, smoking, drinking, etc.

Achieving goals

Say you want to learn a new language. You set out to practice for one hour every day. That means you have to eliminate one hour of watching Netflix (instant pleasure) in order to have the time to practice. In X months/years you have learned a new language (delayed gratification).

You see the pattern.

Even if I made it sound like you will give up pleasure just to be miserable, that’s not the case. The best thing is that when you adopt this mindset, you start to feel instant pleasure from the delayed gratification -things. And why wouldn’t you, as you’re just doing things that you actually want to do. I mean, who doesn’t want to be healthy? We often just choose the instant pleasure (being unhealthy) because it’s the easier option.

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Andreas Westerlund

Andreas Westerlund

Endurance athlete, digital nomad, nerd. Just a normal guy trying to figure out fitness, business, and life. https://www.andreaswesterlund.com