When we set out to achieve a goal, be that fitness related or otherwise – we’re presented with choices every single day. Regardless of what these choices are about – the choice itself usually boils down to one thing: Instant Gratification or Relentless Patience.


The reason most people don’t achieve their goals is because they choose the former over the latter.


People might say they want to get lean, but as soon as they’re presented with an opportunity to go out and get smashed, have a cheat meal or do something they know they shouldn’t be but that will instantly make them feel good, they suddenly aren’t as bothered about the goal anymore.


Let me just repeat myself here – this is the reason most people don’t achieve their goals. Patience is extremely rare in this industry.


Distractions & Dealing With ‘Comfortable’

It’s not just diets and training programmes that this instant gratification mechanism comes in to play – it happens to us all the time in every aspect of life.


Just as I sit down to write this article I’m tempted with a whole host of distractions. I mean – I’m only on like line 20 or something and I’ve already checked Facebook and Instagram about 50 times.


Why? Because I’m chasing that feeling of instant gratification. It’s much easier to scroll through social media and see if anyone’s ‘liked’ my post lately than it is for me to sit down and actually put some thought into how I can provide value for people. And as a human being, it’s in my nature to want to avoid things that can potentially stress me out in favour of something that’s easy or comfortable.


But here’s the thing: Fuck comfortable.


You see, if this is you – and you keep chasing that instant gratification that’s getting in the way of your ‘bigger picture’ goals, it might be that you need a paradigm shift.


If you look back on all the great achievements in history of anyone that ever made a mark on anything, I can guarantee they didn’t do it by continuously doing what was easy and comfortable.


If you want to achieve anything in life – be that a simple fitness goal or something completely different, you need to ignore the distraction of instant gratification, and instead employ the most powerful tool you have – relentless patience.


Being patient with yourself and with the process of achieving your goal is vital to whether you’ll be successful or not.


Delaying Gratification & Displaying Patience

Everyone is looking to be rewarded for one piece of work or one good training session in the gym. The reality is that these things on their own are meaningless. Sure, it’s great to have a good training session and it’s awesome to produce really high quality work, but unless you can follow that up day after day, week after week and month after month with more work of the same standard – it’s never going to amount to anything.


Results, especially if you’re trying to develop your physique, can take a long time to really come to fruition. Building muscle is not something that our body naturally wants to do. It takes a lot of time, effort and consistency to put on quality muscle mass.


When I was 21, I competed in my first bodybuilding show after just 2 years of real training experience. Needless to say I got a big shock when I showed up and saw the standard of everyone else’s physique versus my scrawny little frame. Clearly this was a kick to the ego and a stark realisation that I was looking for instant gratification for not a lot of quality work.


I haven’t been back on stage since that day. Not because I don’t want to – I want to put right what I failed at more than anything right now but progress takes time. As I write this, approaching my 25th birthday and the 3 year mark since I competed, I can compare myself to previous photos and see beyond a shadow of a doubt that my physique is lightyears ahead of where I was back then. Which makes it all the more tempting to jump straight back into the next competition I can – but I’m not going to do that.




Because I’m showing relentless patience. The next time I get on stage there will be no stone left unturned and no one up there that will have worked harder than me (they might look better than me – but I won’t be outworked). That’s not an ego driven statement from me trying to make myself look and sound cool – it’s just the confidence I have from giving myself enough time and having patience with both myself and the goal. It doesn’t have to be right now – it has to be when I’m ready.


Wrapping Up

The point I’m making is that you need to stop chasing small rewards if you want to achieve something big. OK so I might not win when I get back on stage – I don’t control that outcome. But what I do control is my own actions and my own level of consistency. If I do the work day in, day out, I can walk away 100% satisfied with myself regardless of the result. If I don’t put the work in or I try to come back before I’m ready and I don’t like the result? I’ve got no one to blame but myself.


This doesn’t mean you need to compete. In fact I advise you not to, it’s pretty ridiculous. But it does mean that in whatever you do want to achieve right now you need to double down and work for it. Stop chasing those instant rewards or distractions that are taking away from your ability to achieve your goals. Show relentless patience and you’ll get what you’re after in the end.


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PS – Enjoy this article? Why not check out the one I wrote on where to start if you’re new to weight training by clicking here?