If you haven’t heard about Delayed Gratification, let’s not delay it any longer.
We live in a world where we can access almost anything just with the click of a button. With just one-click, we can purchases things or access to a vast amount of information. We get our gratification almost as fast as we think and this is now the norm. The world reinforces that you should get what you want right away and become frustrated if you don’t.
Delayed Gratification is as simple as making a choice that will not satisfy you in the near future, but in the long run. It means you will sacrifice immediate joy for something better in the future.
And believe it or not, we make these choices everyday when we eat, when we go to the gym, when we watch TV or play video games.
Nearly every great ancient book of the human history and knowledge emphasises the importance os self-restraint. On the Bible, Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then they were expelled from paradise. On Greek mythology, Pandora opened the box that released sickness and death upon the world.
All because they didn’t have self-restrain.
Plato viewed self-restrain not only as vital to individual flourishing, but a cornerstone of a strong society.
Have you ever hear of Stanford psychologist Walter Mischel’s test named “Marshmallow Experiment”?
The test consisted on having preschoolers sit in a room with a marshmallow. They were given two options, they could either eat the marshmallow right away, or they can wait and have two marshmallows latter.
This test showed that kids who waited for the extra reward were more confident, self-reliant and scored higher test scores than the ones who ate it right away.
The good news is that Mischel came to think of self-restraint as a muscle that can be developed.
So how do we develop our brain to improve self-restrain and rip the delayed gratification rewards?
Establish your motivation.
What do you want to accomplish and what will you benefit from applying self-restrain?
Find out what the goal is first, then start moving towards it.
The best way to overcome a temptation is to get distracted with something else. Get a new habit. Nowadays smokers who want to quit nicotine find that vaping is a very efficient way to stop smoking cigarets.
You started going to the gym regularly and you haven’t missed a class since you decided to take it seriously and now it’s time for the reward. Try relaxing with a bubble bath or (a more eco-friendly choice) get a massage. This will reinforce your good actions and you will be more likely to keep it up.
The brain looks for consistency to guide its decisions, so you have to be reliable with yourself and follow through on your promises. You should start small and create a goal that is so easy that you can’t refuse it, like do wait 5 minutes before you start eating dessert. Then increment this time.
It will help you build the confidence that you need.
So tell me. What’s your most usual pick? Delayed or Instant Gratification?
Let me know in the comments bellow.
See you next time.