Just one more cookie won’t hurt … or will it?

Instant gratification isn’t worth it. Don’t let it distract you from focusing on the long term.

Dominik Nitsch

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Photo by Ross Parmly on Unsplash

As I’m typing these lines, I’m on an airplane. For the first time in 11 months. But unlike last year, when we had no idea that the second and third wave of COVID would be worse than the first one, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. (I hope I don’t have to eat my words come fall).

For me, that light at the end of the tunnel was attending a live soccer game in a stadium. It felt so … normal. Sure, you “have to” wear masks (as seen on TV), the protocols to get in are a bit more difficult than before and the stadium isn’t as full. But other than that, it was eerily similar to what it used to be. Fans chanting, going through the emotions that come with a soccer game, kids getting excited to see their favorite players in person, and in the end, the underdog wins. Sports are beautiful. The best form of live entertainment.

All this is only possible because we’ve made strides over the past 18 months that were previously deemed impossible. More specifically — four EU-approved vaccines against COVID-19 had been developed in less than a year, and by now, 18 months after the pandemic, literally anyone in a developed country can (and should, damn it) get a shot. I remember anxiously refreshing the vaccine appointment booking page for a few months, trying to get an appointment — and all the sudden, within a week or two, everyone in my environment was vaccinated. It was almost magical.

Yet at the time, when I was staring at the progress of vaccinations in Germany every say, it felt so slow. We just weren’t getting anywhere. I was joking with my friends that I’m looking forward to getting my vaccine at some point in March ’22. And while that’s still a reality for way too many people in the world, vaccination speed is getting faster and faster every day.

Retrospectively, a few months aren’t a lot. But in the moment, they feel like forever. Especially when those months are lived in highly constrained conditions. It‘s not easy to wait a few months when you’re used to getting instant gratification wherever you want.

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Dominik Nitsch

Entrepreneur | Athlete | Writer. Reflecting on life’s challenges and figuring out ways to overcome them.