Categorized | Opinion

Putting It Off?

David PeelBy David Peel

Most people agree that procrastination is usually a bad thing. We lawyers have a lot of deadlines so procrastination is usually not helpful.
But, it seems to be beneficial in at least one area: it predicts success.
Years ago, well-known experiments were conducted with young toddlers.  They were in a boring room with a cookie. If they waited 15 minutes without eating the cookie, they could get another cookie.
Not surprisingly, many hungry bored kiddos chomped away on the cookie. However, several showed amazing efforts at resisting the overwhelming temptation. Those children were able to wait out the eternal 15-minute delay and earn the bonus cookie.
Years later, both of these groups of children were tracked in their success in life and their happiness with their state of it.
The ability to put off pleasures for a better outcome later turned out to be quite predictive of future success in life.  These results ring true with me. Throughout life we have all seen the attractions of short cuts and get rich quick schemes.  Many of us have fallen for such things.
Short-term thinking tends to lead to things that might feel good for a moment but don’t often work out well in the long run. These sometimes include: dropping out of school, adultery, credit cards, crash dieting, suddenly quitting a job, get rich quick schemes, driving without insurance and pay day loans.
Long term thinking is usually marked more by things like: life insurance, retirement accounts, real estate, long engagements, healthy eating, seeking promotions and paying cash. Long-term thinking, or the ability to put off pleasure and endure short-term pain may be the single most predictor of success in life.  Eternal thinking is needed to think truly long term. God calls out to all of us to think truly long term.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through wherein other articles may be accessed.
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October 2014
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