The first question is, would you have a large pizza right now, or 10 pizzas in a month? If you chose the second option then you are different than most of the people in the world because most people want to have something right now, or instant gratification.
Instant Over Delayed
People want to be rewarded right away. If you win something, you might find that you get super excited and almost like you have a high and feel-good sensations. You might even desire to have more of this because you want to have these feelings.
Science talks about how we want to have instant pleasure because we are not sure what is going to happen in the future. For example, the pizza thing, if you know you can have a pizza now, why wait for 10 in a month because you never know what will happen in that timeline.
Everyone wants what they want immediately and so when we make ourselves wait; it sometimes makes us feel bad.
We love the idea of being happy and this includes having instant gratification. But the problem with instant gratification is it can be bad for some.
Why Instant Gratification is Bad
The idea of instant gratification means that most people want things right now. This means that some people will have a hard time having self-control which will make their lives better in the end.
We find that we can have more self-control when we have to wait for things and this can lead to a good future of better health, better finances and allows us to reach our goals.
Many people believe that delayed gratification is better than instant gratification because even though most people do not like to wait, if you can restrain yourself, you will make better choices and have a better life.
Even when you feel that instant gratification is the best thing for you, research shows that if you have more self-control then you will be able to be more successful.
Think of things that you have done that you regret in your life? Were most of these decisions really thought about or did you do something quick? Once you make a fast decision, you might change your mind later but realize it is too late.
The good news is that we can learn to be patient and to control our impulses.
Getting Better at Delayed Gratification
One way that you can do better at avoiding instant gratification is to distract yourself. When you become tempted to do something, call someone or talk to them. Take time to think things over. Give your mind a chance to rest before you jump.
Let your mind focus on things about your goals such as the end goal. When you do this, you stop living so much in the present and you learn that delayed gratification might be best for you.
Doing this can help you to delay your impulses and to think things over better. Look out the window and let your mind decide if your goals are better to wait or if you have to have that thing you want right now.
Remember the goals that you have set and realize that it takes time to reach your goals. Having an instant high or instant gratification can cause you to miss out on better things down the road.
If you are wanting to buy a specific home, keep a picture of it close to you and when you are tempted to spend money or to buy something else, look at the picture and how far you have come.
Learn to have discipline and to have a vision. If you want to, create a vision board of all the dreams that you have. Things might be hard right now but as you work hard, you will reach your goals.
Find a partner that can hold you accountable for your actions. They can help you to stay on track and can help you to not get out of control. This can be a spouse, a girlfriend, boyfriend or even a co-worker. Listen to what they tell you and let them reason with you.
If you want to save money, make a plan, and realize that you need to overcome the urge to spend. This goes with everything in your life. Whatever goal you are trying to reach, have someone you trust to help you stay on track.
This will still be hard, but it will be easier to stay on your goal if you have someone to be accountable with you.
Words and Consequences
When you are presented choices, remember that instant gratification is not always a good choice. Even though you can make better choices, being rewarded later can really pay off and having things delayed can sometimes help you to feel happier about your decisions.
You have to put effort in actions. Make good choices and look at the different options.
Think about the end game and what you need to do to get there. Remember that instant gratification can set you backward instead of forward.
Make a plan and outline it so that you can see what things you need to do to reach your goals. Put down your resources and your skills that are needed.
See the bigger picture and take steps to reach your goals. Once you are successful, you can have the pleasure that you want in your life.
Visualize your life and the bigger picture. By doing this, you will see that your achievements can bring you success.
When you see yourself accomplish things in the future, you can be motivated to move forward and stop acting on impulses.
The Seinfeld Strategy is from the show Seinfeld and shows that Jerry Seinfeld was persistent in what he wanted in life. He would do whatever it took to keep moving forward to reach his goals.
Because he was not procrastinating and because he was not giving up, he was able to be successful and to reach his goals. Learn to have self-control and discipline in your life and you will reach the long-term prizes.
We live a life where everything is fast. Our food is fast, our internet is fast, online shopping is fast and just about everything we do is fast.
Our life moves quickly, and we have become used to expecting things to happen right away. When they do not, we become upset and impatient and we want what we want now.
It is not surprising that delayed gratification takes practice and can be a challenge for some. Even though we want to have things right now, using delayed gratification can bring you happiness, financial security, good relationships, and other things in the end.
Even though good things can happen instantly, we need to stop and look at the bigger picture in our lives. We have to look at what our end goal looks like and learn how to get there.
It might sound like something that is boring or hard but taking the longer road is what can help you to be more successful and happier in the end.