Make Delayed Gratification Your Goal

LollipopI am all about the instant gratification. The sooner, the better. In fact, I often abandon dreams when they take too long to accomplish. I’ve got better things to do! I’m a busy woman!

After years of this kind of thinking, though, I’m starting to wonder … Do I? Am I?

But I’ve started to notice a pattern over the years. Broadly: that my mother was right. More narrowly: that anything worth having is worth waiting for. In fact, I’ve begun to notice that the things I wait for are much, much better than the things I get instantly. A quick comparison.

Things I’ve Waited For:

* Degrees

* Marriage

* Children

Things I’ve Received Instantly:

* Donuts

* Clothes

* Many types of regret

Therefore I’m aiming for a major attitude shift. Any time something is taking a long time to come to fruition or I want right away what I could very reasonably wait for, I try to remind myself: This is what I want. This is my goal. I want to wait for this. I am suspicious of easy things. These types of reminder help me to plug away at the daily grind, to keep going after my dreams, to get going when the going gets tough. This isn’t only a trick of work and career, of course. It’s an important strategy for many types of self-improvement: impulse control, money management, healthy eating. There isn’t much in this world I have to have right away, especially when I keep telling myself how fun it is to wait, how nice it is to anticipate, how much better things will be later.

And you know what? It’s starting to work.


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