What if one question could change your life? Take you on the shortcut to success and divert you away from years of pain, wasted time and frustration? Sounds almost too good to be true, but when I heard it- I knew this question was going to do just that. As long as I acted on the answer I received.
‘Will this action take to closer to achieving my goal or not?’
Simple huh? I was told to ask this key question by a friend who seemed to have bypassed the human condition of constantly getting in one’s own way. I, like many others, suffer from the daily struggle of getting perpetually way-laid by seemingly small distractions in my search for success. These insignificant small choices; the extra episode in Netflix when I know I need an early night, the 2-coffee’s-too-much that I know will leave me crashing later, the shopping spree that eats into my long-term investment; they all have a price to pay. The trouble is, it’s hard to see it in the moment. Instant gratification overrides our brains best laid plans in the search for a hit of endorphins that suppress our ability to see how it will impact our future.
A fantastic book which explores this concept is ‘The Latte Factor’ which examines how the cost of a simple few pound (or dollar) latte every day.. plus maybe a muffin.. adds up to a huge expense when you zoom out and look at how much you spend on this in say a month or year. When I looked at my own ‘latte factor’ I realised I was spending around £5-7 a day on coffee and a little snack, and though it didn’t seem like much, that was adding up to around £50 a week and a whopping £2,500 a year. On a damn latte!
Now as a coffee addict, the latte idea hit home for me. For you it might be the extra naughty snacks through the day that you barely notice, but are hindering you making significant progress with your health. It might be the couple of hours you sit watching the TV that are going to add up to 728 hours, or around a month of your life, wasted every year. Everything adds up. And it’s time to do the math.
So, this is where this one question is so important. Every time you must make a choice ask yourself- ‘will this action take me to closer to achieving my goal or not?’. Simple as that. The slightly trickier bit? When you get the answer no, learning to back away from the cookie jar. Time is precious, and is the one investment that you should always be sure is going in the right account.
The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge. Thomas Berger
My personal tip? Get your future goals to be so clear and so exciting that when you think of them they make the sacrifice of short term gratification worth it for what awaits you in the long term.
Today- let’s ask the right questions.