.. is when you trade your present happiness with a greater amount of happiness in the future.

  • Most religions discovered that it is a virtue to delay your pleasures, and saving up on resources.
  • Delayed gratification, or sacrificing today for a better tomorrow is one of the foundations of our civilization.
  • It works because the benefits of delaying, saving or not consuming something add up.
  • Eating healthy today, investing in the business for long-term gains.
  • For the young, studying right now (instead of a party) to have a better life in the future is delayed gratification.

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The Virtue of Delayed Gratification

markmanson.net

  • Many cultural systems in society keep us in check so that we don’t derail our lives. Schools and colleges, parental guidance and any community have rules and regulations in place that are based on delayed gratification.
  • Just like a child is not able to resist the temptation of eating a marshmallow, even if promised more marshmallows later, delayed gratification is something that is not easy to do for most of us, in a fundamental way.
  • Resisting the urge to eat the cake because you are on a diet, or denying yourself a new iPhone so that you can save up for a new house later is all part of the same game.

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Delayed gratification at its core isn’t about self-control, but about managing our emotions.

If we look at credit card debt, consumer loans, the drug addiction epidemic, obesity levels, and problems with mental health, it is evident that delaying gratification is hard for most of us.

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  1. Make things out of sight to avoid them. Example: Not being in the vicinity of junk food to avoid putting it in your mouth.
  2. Grow up and find out what you are dealing with. Example: If you smoke, understand the health, social, financial and other costs associated with smoking.
  3. Have time-bound, realistic goals to motivate yourself for the future. Be specific and committed.
  4. Learn to identify and manage your emotions.
  5. Be with the right people, those who move you towards your goal.

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