why delayed gratification is so important

Delayed Gratification: Why You Shouldn’t See Results Right Away

Real results take time. And planning. And effort. And struggle.

Anything that’s worth having takes a significant amount of time and energy to imagine, create, construct, build, execute and achieve.

In our “fast food” society, and with our evermore advancing split-second technology, we can get virtually whatever thing we want right now.

Everything we want is on speed dial.

Everything is available by texting “TODAY” to 22222.

Everything we want is at our disposal.

Everything except for the stuff that actually matters.

A greasy pizza delivered lightning fast to your door isn’t the stuff that matters.

The new $400 gadget you waited in line for for 2 hours isn’t the stuff that matters.

That late show you never miss on Netflix every Tuesday night isn’t the stuff that matters.

The truth is, things that matter don’t happen in right clicks, texts or fleeting moments of indulgence and “satisfaction.”

Things that matter happen with constant attention and applied pressure.

They happen with years of uncertainty and discomfort.

They happen day after day, month after month, year after year, with your nose to the grindstone, pushing, reaching, toiling, rinsing and repeating.

Yet to no one’s surprise, our fast food society doesn’t encourage patience nor delayed gratification.

But rest assured, people will always worship at the alter and pinnacle of human success. They will continue to worship the very things that are predicated upon patience and delayed gratification.

We all love money, prestige, power, and success. And yet it’s still a big “mystery” to people who scoff at delayed gratification on how to achieve the success they so covet and desire.

And ironically, to their detriment, to scoff at patience and delayed gratification is to scoff at success.

Why delayed gratification is so important

  • It makes us appreciate the journey and the sacrifice it took to get there

We have to move through life in junctures and infinite stages of development.

Time, pressure, determination, and progression all lead up to a critical and marked stage of success.

When I first got married, my husband bought me a brand new car. I was young and broke driving a rusty old beater and I desperately needed something reliable though my credit was bad and my financial standing was less than nil.

No doubt, it was a beautiful little car. A car fit exactly for someone like me who had never bought nor owned nor driven her own brand new car.

Yet I wasn’t happy with it.

Why?

I wasn’t happy with it because I didn’t pay for it.

I didn’t own the car and it wasn’t mine.

I didn’t earn the privilege of taking ownership of a brand new car.

I didn’t buy my own brand new car by the sweat of my brow and the efforts of my own hands and grit.

Right then, at 22 years old, I knew that I needed to grow up.

I needed to evolve and progress.

I needed to rise out of being young, broke, immature and being incapable of being a financially responsible adult.

I knew I had to do more. So much more.

This was just the beginning of my breakthrough.

I still had to advance and progress at my own pace because it took me a lot longer than most to learn how to grow up and be responsible.

I had to learn each day how to evolve away from the person I was yesterday.

I finally crossed a frontier. I scaled into a new periphery and I had taken a leap of logic and faith.

Being thoroughly disgusted with myself and my bad habits was the catalyst to reversing my bad and detrimental behaviors.

And still it took a very long time to climb up on that horse, grab the reins and ride off into the pastures towards new and promising horizons.

Most of all, it was the sacrificing of numerous everyday “conveniences” that were like kryptonite to my goals.

It meant no more indulging, spending and splurging for a while. A very long while.

It meant taking a very close look at my finances and working month after month year after year to rebuild my credit.

It meant saying no to virtually all the people in my life who hung around for years… all my “friends” and “family” who sucked all the time and energy out of my ambitions. I had to leave them all behind to focus on myself and my future.

All of this was part of my journey. It was an essential part of my progress.

And the years of sacrifice, saying no and refusing to accept anything but the best must too become part of your journey if you want to succeed.

Only then will you realize, it’s the delayed gratification, the waiting for everything to be as perfect as you envisioned it, this is actually what makes it all worthwhile.

  • “Overnight success” is a pipe dream. Most of what you see in the “perfect” and finished product took years to achieve

Many people believe that when they see a person who is a millionaire, has a successful business, has a fit body or possesses years of in-depth skill and knowledge… they automatically assume that person is “spoiled.”

The default assumption is that person is “advantaged” in some monumental way over others.

They were born rich.

They have a perfect body because of genetics.

They are smarter than everybody else because they went to a better college.

They got a leg up in life because daddy gave them all the money.

People see the bigger picture and assume that a person didn’t have to do a single thing at all to achieve what they themselves do not have.

How naive and yet, unbelievably arrogant.

What people don’t see (or rather refuse to) are all the things that person gave up to have what no one else is willing to accomplish.

While everyone else was partying, they were working.

While everyone else was watching TV, they were planning.

While everyone else was sitting around dreaming, they were doing.

People don’t see the struggle and therefore can’t empathize with it.

The only see the end result and not everything below the surface that was necessary to achieve it.

The masses simply don’t grasp all the sacrifices a person has to make to achieve success. The years, the adversity, the doubts, the sacrifices.

When you live it, when you achieve it, only then will you live and die tenfold the world over just to know exactly what it feels like.

The masses have never experienced it so they deny it even exists.

  • It teaches us discipline, consistency and how to stay laser-focused

Delayed gratification is the result of saying no over and over again until something comes along that is worth the effort and expense of saying yes.

This requires discipline. This requires waiting. It requires patience and sound judgment.

It also requires a very, very stubborn desire for so much more.

Imagine saying no over and over again to all the comfortable things that you love.

Things that will 100% sabotage your chances of achieving the kind of “impossible” existence you’ve only ever dreamed of.

Yet, the more you say no to costly things that are a distraction and disservice to what you really want, the more the “hard” and unpleasant stuff becomes a necessity and a habit. A way of life.

You get used to saying no.

You get used to doing what you don’t want to do.

You get used to not following the crowd of “normal” people who think you’re crazy and overzealous for achieving big things.

The discipline of consistently saying no and doing the opposite of what feels good and convenient in the moment creates a feedback loop–one that fosters a consistency that becomes a habit, a ritual, and a permanent change in behavior.

I’ve found the more I do the one thing that I don’t like, the one thing I despise and hate, the more I will do it and the less it hurts.

It becomes less “inconvenient” to do what you hate and abhor.

It becomes less uncomfortable and unenjoyable to experience what other people think you’re “crazy” for doing.

I got up in spoke in a room full of people enough times to blight out my fright and nervousness until speaking felt completely comfortable and normal.

I stopped eating junk food and made a habit of making healthy food choices until I felt good doing it, consciously, physically and emotionally.

I stopped sitting on the couch and watching TV with my parents until I found things that I personally enjoyed doing on my own–all without theirs nor anyone else’s approval.

When your habits become default behavior, this is what solidifies the “laser-focus.” The laser-focus is a byproduct of doing what you hate over and over again until you learn to actually love it.

  • It teaches us how to want something bad enough. Things that are priceless or “impossible” to achieve have immeasurable value and unequivocal importance

Wanting something bad enough is one of the biggest motivators we possess in our human arsenal to provoke life change.

Some of what we want are things that we *think* we want but they are simply just petty indulgences.

We indulge in the unhealthy, fatty junk food.

We indulge in hitting the snooze button.

We indulge in desiring that person who isn’t good for us.

We indulge in things that aren’t good for us while we want the things that truly matter.

The reality is, the things that are priceless or “impossible” aren’t simple indulgences with fleeting emotional attachment.

What is priceless and truly “impossible” are the things that we would absolutely give up and sacrifice our whole lives to achieve.

The things we truly want are the things we will do anything to get because the end justifies the means.

If you really want it, you will do whatever is necessary to accomplish it.

Years of careful planning? Check. Waiting, moving, adjusting, and staying laser-focused? Check. Saying no because it’s not the right time nor the right opportunity? Check.

It’s because of that decision making and painstaking discernment that the end result is entirely worth it and is that much more gratifying and worth the struggle.

To understand that it ISN’T impossible is precisely why it is never going to be easy (despite the fact that no one believes any effort is ever involved) when we acquire the vast fortune, the successful business, the perfect body, etc.

Things have to come together and materialize in ways that require stone-cold effort and persistence. Processes that have to be very carefully weighed, planned and executed.

Importance has to be placed on things that take time, whereas indulgences are fleeting moments of instant gratification.

We think we prefer instant gratification because we want to escape and be free of responsibility and commitment towards the things that really matter.

Always remember, when it stops being important to you, it becomes an option instead of a necessity.

Bottom line: The masses want instant gratification while the select few choose to wait

Having a great body takes time.

Having a name and a solid reputation takes time.

Earning the trust and esteem of the right people takes time.

Building an empire takes time.

Establishing long-lasting, worthwhile connections with important, successful people takes time.

Having plans that grow and develop into the earth-shattering, specular end result takes time.

Always remember, all of these things take so much more time than 99.9% of people are willing to endure and “put up with.”

How to avoid desiring instant gratification

Say no when everybody else is saying yes.

Say you can’t because you CAN.

Say you want to see real changes–things that can only be observed and realized by your creation, by your efforts, by the toil of your hand and the sweat of your countenance.

You desire important and meaningful things that are under your complete responsibility and control.

That guy who will say yes to a $5.00 an hour raise while you say no because you’re waiting for a $200,000 opportunity is why you will realize success.

We live in a instant gratification society. No one has any patience.

If we don’t see results immediately, we give up. We throw in the towel.

Except now, you don’t. And you never will again.

You are avoiding instant gratification by doing the things that others think are a big “waste of time.”

You are doing things that other people call “luck” and “being in the right place at the right time.”

Everything I’ve ever accomplished in my life that was worth anything took months if not YEARS to achieve.

Think in years and REAL results, not in iTunes and hamburgers.

Be well.

 

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