Delayed gratification is a thing of the past. Look around you. Credit cards, technology, and human weakness all contribute to the epidemic of instantaneous gratification we see today.
It makes no sense to wait. Buy it now with your credit card. Order it now online with a click of a button. Play now, study later.
Our thinking has been molded to the point where we think we can get what we want with no delay, which is a very dangerous path to go on.
I suspect the reason why most people donâ€™t practice delayed gratification is because the concept conjures up the principle of self control, which in turn, implies a never ending application of willpower. If you look at it though, there is a slight psychological difference between delayed gratification and self control. Delayed gratification implies a pleasurable moment at the end of the tunnel, while self control has no such ending in sight.
There are a multitude of hidden benefits associated with practicing delayed gratification and if you take the time to realize the huge significance it can have on your life, youâ€™ll soon begin to practice it with ease and reap the immense benefits that come with it.
There is a certain kind of beauty associated with delayed gratification that you just canâ€™t put into words. Food tastes so much better when you wait for it. The movie is always enjoyed more when the work is done. The experiences we patiently wait for and look forward to become that much more colorful and memorable than we could ever imagine.
In essence, you find that you get more pleasure from delayed gratification than from immediate gratification. It just doesnâ€™t seem like it though because the majority of people donâ€™t have the ability to project in the future and see how practicing delayed gratification spills over and benefits other areas of their lives.
What does immediate gratification teach us?
It teaches us we donâ€™t need to work hard to get what we want and we fail to appreciate the value of that hard work as a result.
Let me give you a really simple example that most people can relate to.
Itâ€™s the epitome of immediate gratification. Throw some dice, pick up some cards and you win a lot of money.
People may win big, but youâ€™ll find that theyâ€™ll use those winnings to continue gambling. You know just as well as I do what happens 99.9% of the time. They at best, break even, but most of the time, lose it all. Why? Because there was no hard work associated with getting the money they won, so they didnâ€™t value the money as much. They were willing to risk it by gambling with it again. The value of the money was lost upon them.
Contrast that with someone whoâ€™s been saving up money. Do you think he/she would be so careless with that money? No, they would be extremely careful and picky as to where they will spend their money, because they have associated hard work with it from saving it up and delaying impulse purchases.
People who invest in immediate gratification associate little work with high rewards.
This is the essence that a lot of people seem to miss.
That subtle suggestion will plays itself all over in life.
Eat fast food instead of taking the time to cook healthy meals, so you have a higher chance of a heart attack and diabetes.
Do shoddy work and sacrifice quality so you can just get the paycheck and split.
Watch TV for three hours when you come home instead of spending time with your kids.
People who invest in delayed gratification associate hard work with high rewards.
Now THAT subtle suggestion will play itself all over in life.
Take the time to cook healthy meals instead of a Big Mac combo at Mcdonalds, so you donâ€™t sacrifice your health.
Take the time to do a good job, which results in a higher paycheck.
Spend time with your family to promote good harmony instead of rotting your brain with TV.
Youâ€™ll also find that practicing delayed gratification makes you respect the end result because youâ€™ve been delaying it so with so much effort, and by doing so, you convince yourself that the end result MUST be worth it.
For example, compare a kid who saved money for months to buy his own computer as opposed to a kid whose parents bought him one immediately.
The first kid will take painstaking good care of his computer, while the other one wouldnâ€™t give it a single thought. Which computer do you think would be better handled and treated?
If you practice delayed gratification, you take the end result that much more seriously and treat it with the care that it deserves.
So instead of blowing your paycheck at the bar or on rims for you car, donâ€™t give into that immediate gratification. Delay it. Save up. You may even realize that what you wanted to buy when you got your paycheck was not even something you really wanted to buy a week down the road, and lo and behold, you have a nice sum of cash to play with.
You can then take practicing delayed gratification a step further by investing that cash into buying self improvement books, or putting it in a money market account, stocks, bonds, 401k, Roth IRA, etc.
Are you beginning to see the multitude of benefits that spread throughout your life once you step back from the trees and see the entire forest?
Immediate gratification gives you that narrow minded thinking so you only see whatâ€™s in front of you.
Delayed gratification makes you see the big picture and how everything you do contributes to it.
Become aware of the multitude of positive domino effects that initiate when you apply delayed gratification in your life. Then go on practicing it till you learn to equate hard work with high rewards. Then that mentality will spill over to other areas of your life and greatly increase the quality of it.
Youâ€™ll soon then realize that practicing delayed gratification was less difficult than you thought and that you DO have what it takes to overcome the weakness of instantaneous gratification that enslaves us all.
Because in the end, nothing in this world thatâ€™s worth having comes easy.