The Date

One very common attribute of financially successful people is that they are willing to delay instant gratification and work hard toward a goal to attain something greater in the future. Here is my little true story to illustrate…

When I graduated from college way back in 1976 I had no money but a dream to become an attorney. I had overcome a number of challenges and barriers just to get to through college. Law school now loomed in front of me as a very difficult barrier to get over. I was not sure I would graduate from law school but even more immediately I did not know how I could afford it. I had less than $50 in the bank.

Upon graduation from undergraduate school I was accepted to two law schools but could not afford either one. I took a year off school and worked every lousy job I could find to earn money for law school. I was a night janitor, a bottle sorter at a soda pop bottling plant, a bus boy, dish washer, fry cook and window washer. The nation was in a recession then too and good jobs were hard to find. For 15 months I did nothing but work my tail off. I scrimped and saved and spent money on nothing but gas to get back and forth to work.

Every dime I earned went into the bank for tuition and books. After those 15 months of social isolation and hard work I was again accepted into law school and eventually graduated and became an attorney.

I was a single young man that year from the summer of 1976 to the fall of 1977 and I did not have any money for a “date”. I knew I had to give up a social life to work and save. Later in law school I likewise had to work hard both at studies and at odd jobs to pay my way through. There was no time or money for girls.

During that first year from 1976 to 1977 I had one single date. I took a young lady to a movie (“Fletch” starring Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn, the only movie I saw that year) and to dinner. I felt guilty the whole time spending money that way. I probably spent a total of $20 that night.

I did not go out with anyone again or spend any other money like that until I was most of the way through law school. I knew what I wanted to achieve and I had a solid goal. I knew what I had to do to achieve it.

I ultimately achieved my goal. Despite poverty I became an attorney. But it only could have happened because I was willing to postpone immediate gratification for a long term goal.

It seems today that too few people are willing to do this. I was not alone in my willingness to forego immediate fun for long term achievement. Many others have done the same.
And the girl: she married someone else but has remained a lifelong friend.

Have you postponed immediate gratification or fun for a long term goal? Tell us about it, leave a comment below. I think our readers would love to hear about it.
Wishing you success and prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy
Helping People Learn to Build Wealth

Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.