Want to know a secret? Delaying gratification will get you whatever you want.
How? Simple, you don’t have what you want because you pick instant gratification over delayed gratification.
What’s funny is that you know delaying gratification will bring you a happier end result.
Instant gratification only brings you temporary happiness.
Learning to dance (delayed gratification) will make you happier in the future than skipping dancing class to watch TV (instant gratification).
You’ll be more active, have more fun, and meet positive people.
A slim, trim, and healthy body will make you happier than those five minutes of chocolate cake now.
You’ll look great in all your clothes, you’ll have a lot more energy, and feel confident.
Spending an hour with your kid daily to speak about school, friends, and relevant things will build a better bond between the two of you.
This will bring you more happiness and fulfillment than spending an hour on a TV show, social media, or any other distraction.
Your kids will feel loved and trust you with anything.
Do you see where I’m going with this?…
Instant gratification appears more rewarding in the present moment.
Most people choose the pleasure available now over the greater pleasure in the future.
Delaying gratification is a guaranteed way to make you a better person.
You develop self-control, better relationships, and live a happier life.
Why You Don’t Like Delaying Gratification
Look, I get it…
You deserve to watch that show. You deserve that piece of cake. You talk to your kids everyday on the way to school and back home.
These things bring you happiness and are “enough”.
Are they really?
You’ve probably heard about the famous marshmallow experiment with children
Researchers placed children in a private room with one marshmallow on the table.
The children were offered a deal of receiving a second marshmallow if they did not eat the first one until the researcher returned.
If they ate the marshmallow while the researcher was gone, they wouldn’t receive another one.
Simple enough right?
Either one yummy marshmallow now or two when the researcher returned.
The results were interesting…
Fifteen minutes went by before the researcher returned to the room.
The children were monitored by a camera and all had different reactions.
Some ate the marshmallow instantly after the researcher walked out the room.
Some tried to wait but had to give in after a few minutes and eat it.
Then there were a few who waited and were awarded a second marshmallow.
Isn’t that amazing?
You’re guaranteed a second marshmallow if you just wait, but some kids just could not do it.
Why did this happen?
Was it how the kids were raised by the parents?
Is delayed gratification hereditary or is it a learned skill?
Of course, the study wouldn’t be complete if researchers didn’t follow up with the kids once they became adults.
After all, maybe it was the fact that they were just young and didn’t know self-control yet.
Maybe some of the kids in the study didn’t really like marshmallows and that’s what made is easier for them to wait.
Right? Not exactly.
Researchers discovered something amazing.
Children who waited to eat the marshmallow became more productive adults.
They had less chances of alcohol and drug abuse, handled stressful situations better, had greater SAT scores, and were better with people and relationships.
Delaying gratification doesn’t seem so bad now, does it?
Now, I’m not telling you to never have a piece of cake again, to never watch a TV show, or to feel terrible as a parent if you miss one night of talking to your kids.
Let’s take a closer look at these things though…
Do you have to give up cake FOREVER in order to have a slim, trim, and healthy body? No.
If you eat healthy all week and workout, you can allow yourself a piece of cake as a reward, and I promise that it won’t affect your progress.
However, you must workout and eat healthy all week.
Do you have to give up watching your favorite show? No.
Now and days, you can watch reruns of your show whenever you please.
Are you a bad parent if you don’t talk to your kids an hour everyday? No.
However, you and I both know that you will be at a better place with them if you did.
You don’t like delaying gratification because you have trained yourself to settle for smaller, less fulfilling reward, now.
….and guess what my friend, you are not alone.
Many people are spoiled and just don’t want to wait for delayed gratification.
We want pleasure and happiness now, even if its less than the pleasure we get for delaying gratification.
How Delaying Gratification Will Change Your Life
So is delaying gratification something that you are born with or is it something that you can learn?
Good news, you can learn it.
Delaying gratification is a skill that takes practice like any other.
This skill will bring you far more happiness and satisfaction than any instant reward you are settling for now.
Let me ask you something…
What last longer, a piece of cake or a slim, trim, healthy body year round?
That 30 minute episode of your favorite show or the skill of dancing?
A strong bond with your children or catching up on the latest gossip on social media or TV?
I think you get my point…
OK Alex, but what do I do? Just give up everything I enjoy and start working on things that will bring me happiness in the future?
Let’s start with one thing at a time.
What’s something that you want? a healthier body, to learn a new skill, or become a better parent?
What are doing now “insert instant gratification here” instead of “insert delayed gratification here”.
Immediately begin working towards the delayed gratification.
Stop doing the instant gratification until you achieve the delayed gratification.
I promise you that you’ll survive and that your instant gratification will be there for you as a reward once you achieve your delayed gratification.
If you watch TV instead of going to dance class, give up TV until you learn to dance.
I promise you that what you’ll miss on TV will be there once you’ve learn to dance, and guess what, it won’t bring you as much excitement as going out with your friends dancing and having a great time whenever you choose.
Once you turn what you want into a habit, it’ll become instant gratification, FOREVER.
Does that make sense?
Once you have developed the habit obtaining a healthy body, learning how to dance, or speaking with your kids, it becomes something you do automatically and brings you never ending gratification.
Do you agree that looking good in your clothes and getting compliments and smiles wherever you go will make you a happier person?
Do you agree that going out dancing and having a blast whenever you want will make you a happier person?
How about your kids doing well in life and trusting you with whatever they need? How would that make you feel?
Where is that five minutes of chocolate cake or 30 minutes of your TV show going to have you in three months?
I’ll let you answer that question.