My mom had open heart surgery
earlier this month for an aortic valve
It was not
She had to make the choice to
get the surgery along with a long recovery period
riddled with pain and discomfort if she wanted to
continue to live.
We don't often encounter
life/death choices like this one, but what this choice
made me realize was the importance of being able to
delay gratification. In other words we
need to understand that oftentimes we have to go through
some difficulty in order to get to a better
place. Whether it's about the lower
paying work you are doing now to build experience for
your ultimate career aspiration, or it's the budget you
are sticking to in order to buy your first home, or
foregoing a vacation so that you can buy a new
Delayed gratification epitomizes
the give and take and trade-offs that are part of our
Unfortunately, much of our "I
want it NOW" culture and society has come to value
immediate gratification at the expense of valuing the
importance of delayed gratification in serving us in
life, both at home and at work. Getting
dependent upon immediate gratification is a slippery
slope filled with a belief of entitlement and a lack of
I have to remind myself of the
value of delayed gratification as I go into 2012
realizing that my family will be renovating a home while
living in it and knowing that it can and will be
difficult. But, in the end we will have the dream
home we have been working towards for 10 plus
When I started my
entrepreneurial venture almost 5 years ago, I wanted to
replicate my corporate salary quickly. This was my
desire for immediate gratification acting up, not
recognizing that building a business takes time, effort
and some pain. Now I realize this and I now have a
stronger ability to withstand the need for immediate
gratification in my business knowing that my clients
have taken months and years to cultivate.
Contrary to what many people may advertise on the
Internet or in books, overnight success is not possible
in any aspect of our lives.
Goals take time to reach and
getting comfortable with delaying your gratification
will give you the tenacity to reach them. It will
also give you a deeper sense of gratitude and
Every day my mom improves.
Time is what is needed to allow her new valve to bring
her renewed life. Thank goodness she is learning
how to delay her own gratification for immediate
So, as we share in the
spirit of the holidays and your child-like qualities
take over as you sneak open that gift before its time to
do so. Instead, remember to delay gratification
as gifts are given and received
with plenitude, to appreciate the time;
effort and even difficulty that the giver may have
endured to provide the gifts.
After all, gratitude and
appreciation are the real gifts of delaying your
May your holidays be bright and
the new year bring you closer to your goals.
you wondering what your next step should be?
Consider one-on-one business
coaching to help you get clear on what's next and how to
position yourself for success. Contact Laura for
and personalized coaching.
Laura Lopez is an
award-winning author of The
Connected and Committed Leader.
She is also a consultant, and a Birkman Method
certified business coach who has been featured on the
Today Show and Fox News.
In addition, her
accomplishments have been highlighted in several
business periodicals including Personal
Excellence, The Long Beach Business Journal, The Houston
Chronicle, Latina Magazine, and Central Valley Business
Times. Her articles on management and leadership are
regularly seen in Leadership Excellence.
Laura can be
contacted via her Web site at: