‘Good things come to those who wait’ – I think that was my parents motto growing up. We were always told that delayed gratification was a virtue, something we should strive for, the ability to be patient and wait for what we want. The idea of delayed gratification is that the longer we hold off on doing or getting something, the rarer it becomes, and therefore the pleasure is greater when we finally receive it.
Our world is so full of instant gratification; if we want something, we get it. We live in the age of ‘now’. Society no longer dictates what is sacred or special; we are given the power of freedom and the will to do what we please. We must dictate our own rules, in order to increase our happiness and pleasure. We must create our one scared things.
Delaying your gratification and denying yourself certain things for a period not only increases your levels of happiness, it also makes the experience itself more heightening. Here are a few things that mastering the skill of delayed gratification has to offer...
It helps you make do with less
When you delay your gratification you will find that you don’t need as much to give you the same effect. The easiest example is sugar; the less often you eat it, the less you find you need it. By eliminating sugar from your diet on every day but one in the week, your tastebuds adjust and recalibrate, meaning you no longer need that super sugary sweetness. Delaying gratification increases your senses.
It inspires you to treat things better
If you have to wait for something that you really want then you are going to treat it with better care. When we feel like we have earned something, you don’t want to waste it; instead you treat it with care. By saving up for that better pair of shoes, you will make them last longer and take the time and effort to care for them.
It allows you to enjoy guilt-free satisfaction
Have you ever bought something you couldn’t really afford? In the moment it seemed like a good idea and amongst enjoying your new item, there are pangs of guilt that you shouldn’t have done it. When you wait until you have earned something, you don’t feel guilty, as you have earned the full pleasure of it.
It lets you feel and experience life more deeply
Every human being has the need to feel intensely deep emotion, whether negative or positive; both need to be felt in order to experience the fullness of what life has to offer. Often people think of being hungry as bad (and not just hungry for food), but when you cultivate that hunger you are opening up a whole other dimension of your human experience.
It builds strength and discipline
A person should be able to decide when and where to indulge their desires, not have their life dictated by them. Delaying your gratification builds both your self-confidence and your self-discipline giving you better control over your mind.
It increases your pleasure and happiness
The journey of delayed gratification gives you an overall better sense of happiness and pleasure. By having to work and wait to get what you want, you make the reward in itself more satisfying and the journey beneficial. The pleasure pays off, by heightening your sense of hunger and want, you can truly experience the pleasure of something.
So whatever it is, delay the gratification and you will increase your happiness, pleasure and overall human experience.
- Hubber Ruby