• Fight the desire for instant gratification

    29 Sep 2008

    Here in Atlanta we have a pretty serious situation with gas. Some refineries in Louisiana and Texas (where Georgia gets approx. 85% of its fuel) are still out of commission from Hurricane Ike. There are numerous other issues contributing to the problem as well including the Federal Clean-Air Act requiring gasoline sold in our local market to meet stringent EPA enforced air quality standards which makes it more difficult for gas stations to get and keep the gasoline we need here in the metro area.

    So, given all of this I’ve noticed some really interesting behavior among my neighbors and even my own family members. They are literally following the gas trucks around, calling every gas station in the area to see when/where they can go top off their tanks. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I said top off their tanks. They have such a strong desire to NOT get below full that they’re constantly going to the gas stations to refill. And you wouldn’t believe the lines! People are waiting up to 2 hours to get gas. Here are some telling photos that still don’t do the problem much justice.

    Then we’ve got politicians shouting “price gouging” from the rooftops which prevents the free market from working the way it should. Apparently we’re going to have this problem for another two weeks. If these vote-hungry and economically-ignorant leaders of ours would allow the free market to work its magic, gas prices would go up and the immediate-gratificationers would stay home and stop sucking up all the gas which would allow people like myself who actually need it to get it! I’ve been searching for the past week and can’t find any. I’m now having to work from home but I’m not complaining too much….that is until I have to go to my next meeting.

    Well, the whole point I’m trying to make is that do whatever you can to fight the urge for immediate gratification in this and all areas of your life – especially in your career. This wanting to have stuff NOW is a problem on the same level as the 7 deadly sins. It’s the scourge of the human race. Feeling like we must have something now not only causes financial issues but also problems with relationships, economics, you name it…Look at practically every bad situation at home, at work, and around the world and you see the negative consequences of this need for immediate gratification that’s embedded in us all.

    One of the best things you can do for your career in information security is to fight the desire to get something as soon as it shows up on your radar. There’s a reason for the saying “Good things do come to those who wait”. Thing long-term, analyze the situation, and then make an informed decision to proceed when the time’s right. That’s a sign of a true leader.