Training, Nutrition and Deferred Gratification…Keys to Success

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What I am sharing today is nothing new and I am not the first person to put these words on paper.  There are several others out there that understand this concept and probably understand it better than me.  I am throwing out the short hand version so that maybe today you can be motivated to put down whatever it is that is keeping you from reaching your goals…I heard most of this from Joe De Sena.  Go read his book to dive deeper into this philosophy.

Coke, candy, beer, wine, sugar, going out with friends until the wee hours of the morning…whatever it is, I ask you now…is it worth it?  Is this little taste that feeds your craving now worth giving up the bigger thing that you truly hunger for.  Is a slice of pizza now, worth giving up all the work that you did in the gym?  Is that glass of wine every night worth meaning you have to work an extra 2 hours tomorrow?  Is staying up and writing one more email worth the cost of not feeling refreshed and alive tomorrow.

In the words of Zach Even-Esh, “That shyt can wait!”

Give up the good for now, so that you can have something great later.  It’s called deferred (or delayed) gratification.  It started with an experiment back in the 1960’s and 1970’s with some kids.  They were brought into a room and given the choice between one treat now, and two treats if they could wait for 15 minutes.  The researchers left the room for the 15 minutes and returned to see how many were able to not give in.  There was no penalty for giving in, just no reward.

Some of the kids went a little crazy in order to hold off on eating the marshmallow.  Some pulled on their pigtails, others kicked the desk and others simply turned their back from the treat…out of site, out of mind.

Those that survived got two treats and all was well.

So what, you ask…well they went back and looked at these kids 20 – 30 years later.  And much to their surprise the kids that were able to delay gratification were much more successful in life.  They had better test scores on the SAT.

What in the world does that have to do with me and my training.  It really is quite simple.  If you want to reach your lifting and nutrition goals, you have to learn to have this mentality.  You must be able to delay gratification until you have reached a goal.  You have to give up your one cookie today for two tomorrow (or maybe you will lose the taste for cookies…and keep on your healthy path).  Give up the evening beverage now, so that when you reach your goals, it tastes that much sweeter (talking to you wine lovers).

It’s not easy, you will have to pull your own hair at times, or kick the desk.  But if you want to succeed in anything you have to give up the small taste of one successful moment for the grander goal of truly being successful.  You have to keep on delaying that urge to taste what is right in front of you now, for the promise of what is possible tomorrow.

This means sticking to your nutrition plan and your training plan.  It means committing to getting enough rest and recovery every night.  It means having realistic goals and being strong enough to walk away from something good for something better down the road.  It means get out of the mindset of “gotta have it now” and into the mindset of “If I really want it, it’s going to take some work!”

Let’s get started, let’s do some work!