Temporary Inconvenience = Permanent Improvement

I Hate Traffic

A temporary inconvenience is annoying. For example, I hate construction zones. Although I love cities, construction zones in my opinion, are probably the most annoying trait of city-living.

Although my work is 100 km from my house, I take refuge in knowing that I will most likely not have to deal with construction on my commute through rural Manitoba.

However, recently, my peace has been broken as THREE construction zones have appeared along my route in the past month! Such an inconvenience!! I now take a detour that adds about ten minutes to my drive so I can avoid these monstrosities .

I have recently noticed however, that adding JUST TEN MINUTES to my drive – a very small inconvenience – has negatively affected my mood by the time I arrive at work. Like most people, I am allowing small inconveniences, that are out of my control no less, to sabotage my day.

Microscope Versus Telescope Mentality

When you look at life only through the lens of a microscope, only seeing day-to-day details, you lose sight of the future. Looking into the future requires a telescope-mentality.

So far, I have only been viewing the construction zones on my drive through the lens of a microscope! My mind constantly speaks negativity to me…”This sucks!! I already drive an hour to work, now I have to drive an extra 10 minutes! Poor me! I am a victim! People should feel sorry for me!”

However, I am neglecting to think about the obvious – the purpose of construction is to improve the condition of the road. In fact, for the past year, I constantly complained that the road was in poor condition, with potholes beginning to form. SO WHY AM I COMPLAINING WHEN PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO FIX IT?! I suppose I am a bit of a hypocrite in my thinking…

The point is, if you want to improve, if you want your environment to improve, you will be required to experience inconveniences. In fact, the larger the inconvenience, the larger the growth and improvement.

If the construction crew worked on their project for only one day, the improvement of the road condition wouldn’t even be noticeable. However, if the crew stays working for weeks, or even months, the improvement of the road will be substantial. The temporary inconvenience of the constructions site will create a permanent improvement to the road.

Average People Never Learn To Appreciate Inconveniences

If you want to live an inconvenience-free life, THEN DON’T EXPECT SUCCESS.

I have learned that successful people look at inconveniences differently. Instead of viewing inconveniences through their microscope, successful people use their telescope. Successful people see the big picture, because they have learned this principle…Temporary Inconveniences Equal Permanent Improvement.

On the contrary, average people make every effort to avoid inconveniences as much as possible. Average people only view the inconvenience with their microscope – they only see the pain associated with the inconvenience today, and not the long-term benefit that comes tomorrow.

This is why average people often live paycheque-to-paycheque; because the inconvenience of saving for the future TODAY is not worth the annoyance or pain – the detour of spending money on clothes, vacations, and restaurants  allows them to escape the inconvenience of saving.

Learn to Embrace The Inconvenience

Just like the construction zone is a temporary inconvenience that allows for a permanent improvement, here are some other examples to consider applying to your thinking and life:

  • Fitness: working out regularly is an inconvenience. It consumes time from your already busy schedule. However, the numerous physical and mental health related benefits from exercise are too important to ignore.
  • Reading: I’ve heard it said that you should be afraid of a person whose TV is larger than their bookshelf. Find time to read. Leaders are readers.
  • Studying: It’s no coincidence that students who study more, achieve more. I’d rather be known as disciplined than the world’s best gamer.
  • Nutrition: Many people would generalize that unhealthy foods taste better than healthy foods. Fair enough. However, those who are willing to be inconvenienced by taste can expect to live a longer and more enjoyable life.
  • Saying “No”: Many people struggle with saying no to others – we don’t want to inconvenience the other person. However, when we say “no” to others, we say “yes” to everything else. Try NO just once when you really want to…trust me, it’s very liberating!

Weekly Challenge

This week, I challenge you to shift your mindset. Instead of only using your microscope, use your telescope, and begin to view inconveniences as situations needed for growth and improvement in the future.

Think of ONE inconvenience that you will encounter on your journey this week. Instead of taking the detour, shift your thinking, and welcome the inconvenience into your life. Your future-self will thank you for it!

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