These days we want everything in an instant. We live in an instant world, instant coffee, instant potatoes, instant mail, money, drive throughs and instant lottery to instant Millionaires. The internal battle between impulse and restraint, desire and self-control, gratification and delay, is one of our most important daily battles. The victor offers a quick read not just of character, but of the trajectory we will probably take in life. I believe there is no other psychological skill more fundamental then resisting impulse. It is the root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature lead to one or another impulse to act. The root meaning of the word emotions is “to move”.
When we find our selves facing a difficult decision, more often than not, life dictates that the choice we find the least attractive is the correct one. The essential contrast here is between the ease of indulgence and the difficulty of self-mastery. Our capacity to impose a delay of impulse is at the heart of all accomplishments of goals and the definition of discipline. While practicing the art of delayed gratification you will be mastering your impatience, your fear of boredom and empty times, your need for constant fun and amusement. Gaining power over your self through self-discipline is the most satisfying gratification of all. Goal directed self-imposed delay of gratification is perhaps the essence of emotional self-regulation, the ability to deny impulse in the service of good, whether it be building a corporation or saving money.
Being able to read social situation where delay is more beneficial. To pry your attention from focusing on the temptation at hand and to distract yourself while maintaining the necessary perseverance toward your goals is the receipt to success in all areas of life. The emotional, social and financial difference in those who practice in the art of delayed gratification is evident. Just ask someone who you know to be pretty successful, do they practice in the art of delayed gratification? I assure you the majority will respond in the affirmative. Today we take on so many immediate battles; it is hard for us to lift our gaze above the moment. However, it is a law of power that the further and deeper we ponder the future the more capacity we will have to frame it in accordance with our desires. Are you capable of putting off gratification?
Jeorald Pitts/Lil Tone is author of the book To Bang or Not to Bang a book of question now available at www.tobangornottobang.com, or preferred on line retailer.