Imagine that you find a magic lamp. (You know it’s magic because it’s old and gold and you’ve seen Aladdin like 100 times.) You rub it and out pops a Genie who tells you that you can have one wish right then or all three wishes in ten years. What would you choose?
If you’re anything like me you would immediately wish for a large sum of money rather than planning carefully for the next ten years and making all three wishes count.
I wanted to vacation in Thailand but rather than save up I kept buying throw pillows and shoes. I wanted to be debt free but was still using credit cards to buy new clothes every time someone posted something cute on Instagram and I got jealous. I wanted to lose a few pounds but I didn’t want to go to the gym. I had nickel and dimed myself straight into discontentment because I couldn’t be content to work for a bigger payoff. I wanted all the things right now.
That’s all well and good when you’re young and a naïve but as you get older you find that your childish attitude is actually pretty damaging, and to no one more than yourself. Even after you have the sober realization that you need to prioritize your wants, it’s really hard to stick to it when everyone around you is saying, “Live in the now!” and advertisements proclaim, “Life is short… buy the shoes!” You have to be a smarter animal than most to look towards the future and place significant experiences above things, sacrificing gratification now to get a greater reward later.
So think about what you want—really want—out of this life and don’t let anything else get in your way. It may be hard and it may take time but if you want it bad enough then isn’t it worth the work? The ad execs got it partially right… life IS short, so fill it with experiences that make you feel electric: Wild, challenging adventures that make you excited to be alive and hungry to thrive.
* Find more greatness on Michele’s blog No Model Lady