Instant Gratification and Mountain Climbing

We live in a glorious age of technology where we can get (almost) anything we want. Not only that, but we can get (almost) anything we want nearly instantly. Want to listen to a certain song? You don’t have to wait for it to come on the radio and you don’t even need to rewind or fast forward through a cassette tape to find the right place. Just fire up your Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube and you can get that track right now.

Want to watch a movie? You don’t have to wait for a specific showtime at a specific movie theater in a specific location. Just fire up Netflix on your computer, TV, smartphone, tablet, or any number of other compatible devices and you can watch that movie right now. Want to watch a TV show? You don’t have to wait for it to come on at a certain time on Thursday night, because it’s right there on Netflix too. Not only that, but you don’t have to wait seven whole days for the next episode, because you can binge through the whole season (or seasons!) back to back to back.

All this instant gratification is tremendous, because it has allowed for an incredible level of choice and convenience. You can order almost anything on Amazon and have it arrive on your doorstep within a couple of days. Depending on what you want and where you live, you might even be able to get it within a couple of hours! But the problem with all this instant gratification is that we’ve come to expect it from every other area of our lives too. And a lot of things don’t work that way.

Want to have a deep, meaningful relationship with your significant other? You may have been able to meet one another by simply swiping right on a mobile app, but the kind of strong bond that you desire takes time and patience. You can’t just binge through your relationship like how you binge through every season of The Office on Netflix. You can’t just order a trusting, loving lifelong partner through Amazon Prime. It doesn’t work that way.

And as much as you may be attracted to the innumerable “get rich quick” schemes online, the truth of the matter is that anyone who achieves grand success with them will always be the exception rather than the rule. You stand at the foot of a path and all you see is the summit at the top. You turn a blind eye to the treacherous mountain between where you stand and where you want to be.

Because these kinds of obstacles and barriers have been removed from so many other aspects of your life. It used to be the case that you could only eat certain food at certain times of the year, because of the seasonality of crops and harvests. These days, you can import almost anything from almost anywhere and eat it all year round. Want to read a book? You don’t have to wait for the store to replenish stock, because you can have it delivered to your Kindle instantly. There’s no waiting. There’s no work.

Success in business doesn’t work that way. You might see the fancy cars, the big mansions and the extravagant trips, but you don’t see the years of hard work and dedication that went into building that kind of lifestyle. It is absolutely true that anyone can do it, but it’s also true that you’ve got to fight your way through some bad weather to get there.

But the view once you get there is pretty spectacular. And it’ll be all that much more rewarding because you’ll know what it took to get there.

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