I often talk about how the world moves at such a jet speed pace. With messages traveling 50 times faster than ever, sent to us by 100 times as many people as ever before, on a daily basis. With our consumption of this mostly “file 13” and non-life changing media at the highest levels ever. We are bombarded virtually every second with the mastermind marketing of some product that we need, have to have, or can’t live without. Just think about it. Think about your internet or television experience and all our great world is constantly trying to persuade your cerebrum into believing you can’t live without whatever tool, trade, “experience”, trip, product or thingamajig! It has created this utopian world where most anyone has this inner soul fate of making our cerebrum feel good full of release of endorphins when we make the purchase, or do we consciously make the decision to feel some pain and not make the purchase? This constant marketing world has given most any of us an addiction to the life of “instant”! We can get virtually anything we want, and we can press the button and get it now! It’s so easy, right! Your brain just telling you, ”Hit the button, come on, please, just hit the button, it will feel so good!” And you do,,, aaandd, it’s over!
The words of delayed gratification or almost as lost now as they are in Webster’s Dictionary. Many of us can’t find them, and they are part of our vocabulary. They are lost. But we must find them. Long term success will not be found if you can’t find those two so very powerful words. We often talk about millennials and no patience, the "we want it all now" mentality, and while being very true, we can all be guilty of it. The difficulty in it, is delayed gratification requires us to feel pain, not feel good.
For me, it was 2004, and I wanted a Harley so bad I could tasted it. So, what did I do, I went out and purchased one. Newly married in 2001, living paycheck to paycheck, and we had the world by the tail! New college grads in 2001, which made is very very smart you know, and going through all that college, I deserved that Harley! Insert much sarcasm! So, much to my wife’s extreme joy of leathering up and letting the wind blow through her hair, I bought that darn Harley that I so deserved! And boy was she happy! Insert even more sarcasm! Fast forward 5 years, a set of 2 year-old twins, and a whopping 945 miles on that had to have Softail, I sold that massively depreciating asset to help pay for our home. A purchase I never should have made given all the family fun with twins you can have on a two seat motorcycle!
My point being, we can feed our souls very easily with what feels good. Or we can feed our souls with a higher level of maturity and a longer vision of time by doing what is right. I needed that custom flame painted Softail Harley like I needed to lose my right arm. But, at the very wise and mature age of 28, I did what felt good. Kids do what feels good, and adults are supposed to do what is right. And our world is turned upside down most every day by adults doing what feels good. Be it a family decision, a friend decision, a work or business decision, or a personal health decision. Delayed gratification is a sign of emotional maturity and those that are able to delay more will experience greater levels of success. We must hold a long vision of time, and be thinking for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, not just tomorrow, or next week, or next year. And maybe delayed gratification is something as simple as not buying the $5 Starbucks coffee, or maybe it is buying a home. Your first house might not be your dream house, remember, it took your parents twenty years to get theirs.
We must do what is right and not what feels good through improved emotional maturity and a stoic resolve of patience. Delayed gratification and patience will bring you so much more happiness and pleasure, we just have to have that intensely focused long vision of time. And if you are a parent, leader, or influencer of any kind, we must invest time in helping influence people’s decisions that moves people towards wisdom, not pleasure!