You have probably heard the concept that we have two basic choices. We can choose long-term gain for short-term pain or we can choose short-term gain for long-term pain.
Most of the decisions I have made in my life were long-term gain for short-term pain. In college I regularly choose to study instead of party. In my careers I regularly chose to work long, hard hours and to do my best rather than slacking. I have usually chosen to do what was right or responsible rather than what I felt like doing at the time.
These decisions have paid off for me. I consider myself to have a happy, successful life, both professionally and personally.
What I realized the other day, though, was that I am at a point in my life where I can ease up. I can do more of what I want because I want to. I’ve reached the long-term gain and I don’t really need to worry so much about the short-term pain. I’m glad I’ve made this realization now, where I can enjoy it fully.
If you are like me, and have consistently made the long-term gain decisions, I suggest that you stop and access where you are in life. Could you do a little more of the short-term gain items? With where you are now, is there much long-term pain to worry about?
When I was a child and got hurt, Mom would clean the wound, put on antibiotic, and put a bandage on the wound.
When the time came to take the bandage off, I never wanted to do it.I knew it would hurt.So I would try to take it off slowly and carefully.I would still hurt a little, and would continue to hurt for as long as it took me to take off the bandage.I could prolong this process for a very long time.
Dad would say, “Just rip it off.Get it over with.”I finally tried it.It hurt!But it did not hurt for long.It certainly did not hurt for as long as it did when I slowly tried to peel it off.If there was a way to measure the acuity and length of pain for both processes, there was probably less pain with ripping it off.
In life, we will always be faced with painful situations, painful decisions.We can take action by “ripping off the bandage.”Or we can delay making a decision, delay taking action.Although the first may be more painful at the moment, the total amount of pain will probably be less than delaying.
Do you have any “bandages” that you have been slowly trying to remove?Do you have relationships that need to be addressed, or maybe ended?Do you have a job that you need to leave?Would it be better if you just “ripped off the bandage,” faced the pain, and moved on?