What Is Your Recovery Rate Instant Gratification Vs Delayed Gratification Success Through The Way You Think About Yourself
What is your recovery rate? How long does it take you to recover from actions and behaviours that upset you? Minutes? Hours? Days? Weeks? How long? The longer it takes you to recover the more influence that incident has on your actions, the less able you are to perform to your personal best. In a nutshell the longer it takes you to recover the weaker you are and the poorer your performance.
Just ask yourself:
How many times have I got upset with my spouse or partner for something the children did hours ago?
How many times have I missed an opportunity because I was still focussed on an upset and all I could say was ‘NO’ to everything?
How many times have I driven my car erratically because I was still thinking of an incident that made me angry?
The point is: a poor recovery rate affects your health.A poor recovery rate affects your well being. A poor recovery rate stops you from living to your potential.
You are well aware that you need to exercise to keep the body fit and, no doubt, accept that a reasonable measure of health is the speed in which your heart and respiratory system recovers after exercise. Likewise the faster you let go of an issue that upsets you, the faster you return to an equilibrium the healthier you will be. The best example of this behaviour is found with professional sportspeople. They know that the faster they can forget an incident or missed opportunity and get on with the game the better their performance. In fact, most measure the time it takes them to overcome and forget an incident in a game and most reckon a recovery rate of 30 seconds is too long!
How long does it take you to recover, overcome and forget an incident at work or at home?
A method that I and many others use to help us reduce the recovery time is the method of the FULL STOP.
Imagine yourself to be an actor in a play on the stage. Your aim is to play your part to the best of your ability. You have been given a script and at the end of each sentence is a full stop. Each time you get to the end of the sentence you start a new one and although the next sentence is related to the last it is not affected by it. Your job is to deliver each sentence to the best of your ability. Now think about your life. Imagine life is no more than a play, a drama and we each have a role to play in that drama. Your job is to play your part to the best of your ability and the better you play your part the more chance that you will inspire others around you to improve their performance. Each incident you face is a new sentence. Just put a full stop behind it and start again. Accept that every time you meet someone or have a conversation with a person on the telephone or even send an email it is a new incident. You have both moved on since you last met, so remembering the last occasion only keeps you in the past and stops you moving forward. Stops you seeing new opportunities. The next time you see the person that upset you, or you upset, is a new occasion there is nothing to be gained by continuing from where you left off. The incident has finished. You are both in a different place now. It is a new sentence so start again.
My grandmother used to call it destiny. “Accept what has happened as part of your destiny and live with it”, was a favourite phrase of hers. You cannot change what has happened. Sulking or Brooding will not help. Analysing will only give you a headache and keep it fresh in your mind. In the same way that you cannot enter the same river twice, you will never face the exact same incident again so why analyse that one? You can however notice whether you have a habit or thought pattern that clicks in in certain circumstances and stops you performing to your best. You can then look at the habit and decide how you can change it.
The secret to a better life is be like the sportsperson, ask yourself:
Did I recover quicker today than I did yesterday?
Did I recover quicker this time than the last occasion I faced a similar incident?
Did I allow myself to be average today?
Did I equal or improve on my personal best today?
Don’t live your life in the past! Learn to live in the present, to overcome the past. Stop the past from influencing your daily life. Don’t allow thoughts of the past to reduce your personal best. Stop the past from interfering with your life. Learn to recover quickly.
What we are suggesting is not an easy path. To work on your recovery rate and make changes in your thoughts, behaviour and attitudes requires a great deal of effort. However, the rewards are also great. It is important that you don’t force yourself to work on your recovery rate because you think you ought to or must or because you feel it will ‘make you a better person’. There’s no benefit in that because you will not stick to the task. You will make a great deal of effort at the beginning but when you are not achieving the results you want you will stop or look for another technique. Only when you really feel you want to change . When you realise life is not working for you at the moment using the methods you are using will you put in the effort to change your behaviour to improve your recovery rate. You can only improve your recovery rate when you can see that there is great benefit for the self.
Once you decide you wish to improve your recovery rate, you will start to check and change your thoughts and behaviour and make effort to perform to your personal best. You can check your progress by measuring the speed in which you are able to apply a full stop. The time it takes you to let go. The time it takes before you are functioning at or near your personal best again.
What was my recovery rate after the argument with my partner?
What was my recovery rate after I lost a sale?
What was my recovery rate after I received a ticket for speeding?
What was my recovery rate after I heard a friend was ill?
What was my recovery rate after I got frustrated with myself over………?
But remember; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Reflect on your recovery rate each day. Every day before you go to bed, look at your progress. Don’t lie in bed saying to yourself, ‘I did that wrong’. ‘I should have done better there’. No. Look at your day and note when you made an effort to place a full stop after an incident. This is a success. You are taking control of your life. Remember this is a step by step process. This is not a make-over. You are undertaking real change here.
Your aim: reduce the time spent in recovery.
The way forward?
Live in the present. Not in the precedent.
In life we all have certain basic human needs. Some of these needs include security, love, leisure and respect. However whilst we all have the same basic needs, the way we satisfy those needs will vary from person to person.
The 2 main ways that needs can be satisfied are immediately or at a later date. This is often called immediate or delayed gratification.
Immediate gratification is the most common way people fulfill their needs. This means that rather than waiting for something to happen in the future, they prefer not to wait, and to have it now.
However immediate gratification usually comes at the expense of long term failure in life. This is because when needs are satisfied immediately, they are often done so with little or no regard for future consequences.
For example, comfort is one of our most basic human needs, and everyone seeks a certain degree of comfort in their lives. However should you choose to fulfill that need immediately, such as by choosing to sit and watch TV or play video games all day, then it is most likely you will not achieve anything significant in life if that is all you do.
This does not mean having comfort is a bad thing. If you choose to delay satisfying the need for comfort and instead focus on other areas of your life, such as financial or romantic, then in the long run you are likely to achieve greater success in life.
However delayed gratification is much harder than it sounds. The fact is, the society we live in tends to promote a greater desire for immediate gratification. By providing us with instant quick fixes and on demand entertainment. As a result people have got used to expecting things immediately, whereas only 50 years ago, they were more willing to work and wait for the things they wanted.
This has also resulted in a mentality that if results are not seen immediately, then it is best to give up and try something else. Consequently you often see many people complaining of a lack of success in their life, even though they put minimal effort and time into what they were trying to achieve. If they don’t “make it” within a few months, or worse a few weeks, then they usually just give up.
This is an extremely important characteristic to recognize, because highly successful people are masters of delaying gratification. Rather than trying to fulfill their needs immediately, with instant fixes or get rich quick schemes, they recognize that success takes time and hard work. And this means delaying the natural urge for immediate gratification.
Since successful people are no different from you and I, this means they still dislike doing the same things we dislike. However they are able to do them anyway, because they understand that is the only way a person can ever become truly successful. So how do they delay the temptation for immediate gratification? With discipline, and lot’s of it!
If you think you are a loser, you train or work like a loser i.e. sloppily and half-heartedly. If you think you are a winner you train like one i.e. with maximum focus, great expectations, excitement and consistent effort. This article takes a look at why people think like winners or losers and what they can do about it.
Steve Siebold describes in his recent book -“177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class” – how he wanted to be a tennis champion. He had all the talent and the desire necessary but at times he lacked the belief that he was a potential champion. He writes:
“When I believed I was a champion, I trained like a champion. When I believed I was washed up, I trained like a loser.”
When he was only ten years old, he defeated nearly everyone he played and, as a result, was thinking like a champion. He expected to win and so he trained and worked hard as winners should.
As he grew older his rankings started to drop and he no longer expected to win and so he started training like a loser instead of a winner.
He still had the desire to be a champion but so do lots of people. He believes that what made the difference was his belief in himself or his lack of it.
He lost some of his belief in himself through associating too much with what he calls the ‘middle class’ instead of the ‘world class’. The middle class are too easily satisfied with mediocre results. The world class are only content when they become champions in whatever they are doing whether it be playing tennis or making money.
When I went to school at the age of 11, I worked hard and did all the work set with full attention and the desire to do well. I did so well that the principal of the school suggested I move up a whole year.
This was a mistake. I now came under the influence of class mates who did not like the fact that I had jumped a year. Some of them called me a swat and a bighead. Maybe they were right but I don’t think so. Working hard was frowned on by this bunch.
They changed my thinking about myself so much that instead of thinking of myself as a champion student, I saw myself as some kind of a freak for working so hard. My effort dropped along with my self-image. Never underestimate the influence of those around you. I was lucky in the end to pass my exams and get to university.
It has taken me many years to regain belief in myself. I was helped by the great American positive thinkers like Norman Vincent Peale, Frank Bettger and William James.
One English writer who has also helped greatly in this is the multimillionaire Stuart Goldsmith. His book ‘The Midas Method’ explains how most of us are brainwashed at an early age into thinking there is an invisible ceiling to our progress which we will never break through.
Once we realize that this ceiling is only a figment of the imagination of ourselves and our so-called ‘friends’, we will be able to break through our limitations and achieve world class results which will astonish us.
We need to re-examine our beliefs about ourselves and to realize that many of them originated in the beliefs of people who thought that great results were only for the few and that our dreams were just ‘pie in the sky’.
Instead of listening to the middle class or the poverty class (those who are not even aware of the possibility that they could be champions), let’s start listening to the world class. Let’s replace negative beliefs about ourselves with empowering ones and then start working hard to achieve our dreams.
We don’t need a degree in psychology to do all this. A little bit of commonsense and observation can show us the way. It also helps to read the books of people like Steve Siebold and Stuart Goldsmith and – if I dare say it without being called a bighead – myself!
You may or may not have access to world class neighbours or friends but you do have easy access to world class writers and thinkers through the media of books, audios and video tapes. The internet has, of course, widened that access exponentially.
It is high time you and I joined the world class and made the most of the championship potential which is there in all of us..
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