Immediate Gratification is for Sissies
Tears pooled up behind my eyes earlier this week in yoga class. In a deep lunge, left leg forward, I reached my right arm behind my lower back toward my left thigh. Then my left arm went under my left leg reaching for the right arm. It sounds like a mean game of Twister but it should have looked like this…
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Utthita Parsvakonasana
English Translation: Bound Extended Side Angle Pose
image from Fit Sugar
I wasn’t even close. My arms were reaching but felt miles apart. Why couldn’t I have a miraculous flexibility break through and at least let my fingers graze each other. Intellectually, I knew I was just where I was supposed to be, but emotionally, I wanted more.
From there my mind traveled to all the other places where I didn’t quite make the cut. The places that weren’t easy to get to. The places that kicked me out time and time again.
- Book Proposals
- Permanent Weight Loss
and then I thought of all the places where I’ve found immediate gratification in my past
- sleeping in
- celebrity gossip
- reality TV
Then my eyes softened and I started to smile. The tears vanished when I realized that immediate gratification is for sissies (and I’m no sissy).
Good work takes time. It took…
- More than 4 years to build the Golden Gate Bridge
- Noah more than 50 years to build the ark.
- Jesssica Watson 210 days to sail around the world when she was 16 years old.
- 15 years for James Cameron to bring Avatar to theaters.
- Michelangelo more than 4 years to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Designs date back to AD 200, but the first modern printing press came in 1439. The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879, but the idea started as early as 1802 by Humphry Davy at the Royal Institution of Great Britain.
One of my favorite yoga teachers told me it took him years of yoga practice to touch his toes and when he finally did, his life wasn’t any better or worse than it was before. The joy isn’t always at the finish line. Beauty is not always found in completion. La Sagrada Familia is the most famous sight in Barcelona. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, the Roman Catholic basilica is unfinished. The architect began the job in 1883. Gaudi died in 1926 and work has continued on the building to this day.
Most of the overnight success stories that you read about took years. Don’t let the fact that you haven’t finished something yet discourage you. Don’t turn away from the things that you want most of all because they are hard, because they will take a long time, because you don’t think you have what it takes. You do.
I don’t think wine or email is bad or wrong, but pay attention to the reason you gravitate to the things that feel good for a moment. The easy things. The distracting things. When you do go there, pay attention to how you feel moments or days later.
I am not a sissy. I will do the work.
Maybe my hands will never touch in Bound Extended Side Angle Pose, but I will still reach. I will still do the work.
What do you want to do that feels out of reach?
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