We live in a highly connected world of instant gratification. Social media platforms allow us to post things and instantly see what others think (how many likes did I get!) If we are hungry and on the road we can hit a drive thru, if we want to binge watch our favorite TV series (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), need to figure something out (Google it), and the list goes on. Everything is at our fingertips (instantly on demand). While these things have tremendous benefit if used properly they can also hinder us from achieving bigger things and fulfilment which comes from delayed gratification.
Delayed gratification is being able to resist the temptation for a smaller more immediate reward in order to receive a bigger more enduring reward later. It takes discipline and will power to fight these immediate urges but more importantly it takes practice. Anything that we practice consistently on a regular basis we will naturally get better at. Practice being self-aware of your choices and choose your actions and responses wisely, keeping what you truly want in mind. Once you have had “success” where delayed gratification has paid off it will be easier to tap into again moving forward.
This principle of delaying our gratification can be applied to many areas of our lives. It’s very prevalent in the health & fitness industry. Fad diets, supplements, and workouts are often sold to people promising great results in short time frames (instant gratification). When in reality the human body doesn’t work like that, it takes consistent dedication over the course of months to trigger lasting change (delayed gratification).
Practice self-awareness daily. Begin with the small things, they add up in the long run. Focus on one thing at a time until it becomes a habit and then pick another. This builds momentum stacking the conditions in our favor. Pass on the things that provide instant gratification but leave you unfulfilled. Eliminate a bad food choice replacing it with a healthier option, choose not to skip that workout, choose to go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, watch less TV, spend less time on your phone and social media. Free up more of your personal time and use that time wisely working towards what you really want.