Saving The Frosting For Last

2 12 2011
When you eat a piece of cake, do you eat the cake first or the frosting?

One of the most helpful problem-solving strategies I’ve ever learned comes from M. Scott Peck in his now classic book The Road Less Traveled.  It is the discipline of delayed gratification.  Peck writes that delayed gratification “is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with…It is the only decent way to live.”

Procrastination is the art of putting off any necessary but unpleasant task.  And every day we encounter those kinds of things.  Returning phone calls.  A potentially painful conversation.  Balancing the checkbook.  Running on the treadmill.  It comes easy to most of us.

When I was a child, we never got dessert before dinner.  “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding.”  Life is like that.

So, what to do?

The secret is this: Do it now.  Instead of making plans and preparing to get up earlier to have time to write or pray or work out, just get up.  It’s that simple.  Do it now.  It’s a whole lot more fun when you get the unpleasantness out of the way.  Then you no longer have the unfinished task hovering over you like the Sword of Damocles, spoiling your fun.  As kids, we did our homework first so we could go out and play the rest of the day.

“It’s the only decent way to live.”




2 responses

2 12 2011

I was going to post a thought, but I decided that I would do it later.

2 12 2011
Christian Fahey

/\8/\ Tarantulesque!

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