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  • Writer's picturejonwilson3

Delayed Gratification

Today I want to teach you all something I got really good at:

How to wait until you’re in your mid-forties before working out what you really want.

It’s good that I tell you now because I’m starting to forget how to do it!

Don’t Dream Too Big

First off, make sure you don’t dream too big. It’s important to remember that the really big dreams and achievements are for other people.

Have mild curiosity and a bit of jealousy about how some people seem to be able to create a great life for themselves and others.

Oh and forget about the things that got you excited as a kid - you’ve got a career now, hang on to that until you retire, then you can have some fun!

Narrow Your Focus

Be sure to focus on what you want for yourself. Put a good percentage of your attention on how much money you want to earn, the free time you want to have, the holidays you want to go on, and the house, car and other things you want to own.

I’m not saying be selfish. Be generous, kind and considerate. Well, just to be clear, you don’t have to be a decent human being for this system to work!

The important thing is to avoid thinking about the impact you want to have in the world. Whatever you do, don’t start believing there might be a purpose to your life!

Play Safe

Make sure that you don’t take real risks, only pretend ones. By all means switch jobs when you want - but only when you know you’re in demand. Take some time off from work and go travelling - but only when you have been promised a job to come back to.

Whatever you do, don’t risk your reputation, status or sense of importance. Don’t risk feeling embarrassed or stupid. Don’t risk feeling humiliated. Don’t risk earning less money than you have before.

If you are going to take risks, make sure they are to your physical safety. It’s cool to have a plaster-cast on a broken limb! It’s not cool to have to admit you need a plaster on an emotional wound. Vulnerability is for crazies!

Forget Your Values

For this system to work, it’s really important that you stay confused about what has you feel fulfilled. You need to know some of your values and make sure that life is “pretty good” so you might take holidays that you enjoy, have some fun pastimes and spend plenty of time with friends.

The key is to find ways to get busy doing things that you think you should do or feel an obligation to do. Your work is a great place to complete this piece of the jigsaw. Get a good job, earn good money, and find ways to make it at least 40% unsatisfactory. Remember too that if you’re not enjoying something, it’s because there is something wrong with you rather than it simply being that it doesn’t align with your values.


At the heart of this system is to have a good life. That way you can wait until well into middle-age before you start to wonder what a great life might look like!

By having a good life, there’s no need for big dreams, a sense of purpose, taking risks or living fully by your values. Simple!

I hope you learned something here today, that was certainly my intention!


#100daysofcreation #delayedgratification #fulfillment #leadership #coaching

This article is part of 100 Days of Creation, my challenge to myself to write 100 articles in 140 days, each taking no longer than 30 minutes to write and publish.

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