Life is a constant battle between pleasures, desires and our long-term goals. We might wish to lose weight, but our urge to eat pizza and junk food overrides our deep longing for self-confidence.
The same can be said in our creative battles. I’m not sure if I buy the 10,000 hours rule, but there’s no doubt that it takes an incredible amount of patience, discipline and hard work to become skilled enough in our craft to make a success of it.
At the same time, though, we’re contending with our busy mind. Writing an essay, we’re fighting the urge to leave our desk and take a break. When editing videos, Facebook lingers in another tab, pulling our awareness away from the task at hand. We’re always wrestling with our fleeting urges and desires.
The thing is, short-term pleasure is a trick. A trap. It tells us that we want something when actually we don’t. We think a slice of cake or a day off or a five-minute break is what we need, when actually, it isn’t. Sometimes it is, but often we’re just making excuses.
The next time your craving for immediate gratification begins to interfere with your capacity to make rational decisions, recognise it. Recognise the fact that you’re being manipulated. You don’t want this. You want that. Don’t let anything stop you.