16. Postpone Gratification.

I learned this rule a long time ago from my Mom. We didn’t have a lot since my parents were immigrants who didn’t have much in Slovakia either.

When I started working I read a lot about how to become more effective in business, hoping it would help me succeed and keep getting promoted. One of my favourite books, although it was a tedious read, was Think and Grow Rich“, by Napoleon Hill.

Napoleon Hill was born on October 16, 1883 in America to proud parents James Hill and Sarah Blair. They were a poor family and Napoleon Hill spent the first part of his life living in a small one-room cabin on the Pound River, Wise County, Virginia.

He began his writing career at the young age of 13 writing for the small town newspapers in his area. He was nicknamed the “mountain reporter” and from there went on to become the famous author of “Think and Grow Rich”, one of the best motivational books of all time.

Napoleon Hill spent his life writing and researching the secret to success under instruction from Andrew Carnegie, one of Americas richest men of that time.

It seemed a little ironic that the idea of postponing gratification, or not indulging too soon or too much, was part of the road to wealth. But there’s more to it than that. It’s about purpose, focus, self-discipline and perseverance.

Self-discipline often becomes the most important. It teaches us to look toward to the future without sacrificing the past and to enjoy the present without sacrificing the future.

A good example of self-discipline is the ability to postpone immediate gratification.   Immediate gratification has been the bane of our current society.  We have become a society that lives on credit.  If we don’t have discipline in this area and if we indulge all our whims through credit then we are sacrificing our future for the present.  It’s easy to put out of your mind that what is purchased today needs to be paid for in the future with interest and we can quickly get in over our heads, compromising our futures in a very negative way.  However, we do live in the present and we cannot sacrifice everything in our present for the future because our future depends on what we do with our present.  What is needed is balance.

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