This is a life improvement nugget that’s very close to my heart. I think I’ve suffered from ‘short term gain’ far too many times. My life would be easier had I chosen ‘short term pain’. Allow me to explain.
There are so many decisions to make in life. To drink or not drink, to do drugs or not. Should we tell the truth or is lying ok? Should we strive for a bigger, better future or just ‘settle’? It’s tough raising kids and/or owning a business, how do we hold them accountable and still let them know we’re here for them? While the answers are usually obvious (do what’s best for everyone) the implementation of those answers isn’t always so clear. How do we do what we know we need to do, especially that which we don’t want to do? That’s where this philosophy comes in and makes the whole process clearer and easier to do. Handling the tough choices becomes ‘ok’ with us mentally.
Let’s look at fitness, health and weight loss issues. Are you choosing short term gain = long term pain or short term pain = long term gain? In a short term gain picture you’d make the decision that you’re too tired to work out. After all you never get to be with your spouse or family (short term gain) so you’ll not exercise. True, you’ll have it "easier" today, but in the long run your body will be flabby, your heart will be unhealthy and your chances for disease will have increased by almost 60% (long term pain)! You LOVE anything fatty, fried or coated with sugar. You make the decision to learn to cook with Stevia instead of sugar and eat baked potatoes instead of fried ones (short term pain) so you don’t have to battle with extra pounds or diabetes (long term gain).
How about marriage? There’s been an argument and you’re both really hurting. Even though you know you need to communicate about what’s happened and come to a resolve, you decide to "kiss and make up" so there isn’t tension in your house (short term gain). The next time the issue arises the fight is worse because you’re still holding bitterness from the last fight! And with every fight that you choose short term gain, the resentment grows. Finally, one day, there is no kissing or making up. Only a silent home where no one likes anyone (long term pain) because no honest, love-centered communication took place. I bet you’re beginning to get this, huh?
Here’s an example relating to work. Sally knew she needed to make her sales calls and market in her community if she was going to help people achieve their goals and she was going to make the money she wanted to make. There was definitely some uncertainty though. She was not sure how to do this so fear crept in. Self doubt was all over her and she had actually been looking for another job. She didn’t want to go out and market, but she decided to talk to someone who was good at it and give it a try before she threw in the towel (short term pain). She tried and failed (more short term pain) but she now realized that she had it in her to face her fears. This would be a skill she could use for the rest of her life because once she’d done it the first time, she’d do it again and again (long term GAIN). So, she tried again, still a bit uncertain and fearful (short term pain). This time she got GREAT RESULTS! Her production SOARED. She ended up owning a business and made NINETY THOUSAND DOLLARS A YEAR EVERY YEAR after that (LONG TERM GAIN!!!!) In a short term pain = long term gain scenario, the difficulty is endurable because the amount of time that life is better far exceeds the amount of time that life is difficult.
It can be really tough to lead people correctly. Holding them accountable is hard. We fear they won’t like us or they’ll quit, so we decide to overlook the constant tardiness or lack of doing the job so to keep the peace (short term gain). Eventually, though, we lose them anyway because they’ve not made enough money or they don’t want to work where they don’t know what they’re suppose to do or no one ever helps them do it. Now you have a new staff who you do the same things with (more short term gain) and eventually go bankrupt because your business has lost so much money because you didn’t hold people accountable (long term PAIN).
Very, very simply put... short term gain means to do what’s easier now. Long term pain means that because we didn’t do what NEEDED to be done, our life will reflect that forever and we’ll suffer accordingly. Short term pain means to "suck it up" and do the thing that’s harder because you know that your life will be better and easier over the long haul because you made yourself do the thing you didn’t want to do.
I know that by now you’re thinking of your own examples of short term pain = long term gain and vice versa. This article will not bless you just by reading it, but it will do so when you think through your own life scenarios and begin to consciously choose short term pain = long term gain. Your life will be infinitely easier in the long run!!
REMEMBER; SHORT TERM PAIN IS JUST THAT... SHORT TERM, AND LONG TERM ANYTHING IS LOOOOOOOOONG TERM!!