“People who grow up without a sense of how yesterday has affected today are unlikely to have a strong sense off how today affects tomorrow.” Lynne Cheney
I am not sure if immediate gratification syndrome is in fact an official term. However, I am using it here to describe our tendency to follow our feelings rather than facts and principles. The danger of immediate gratification is that it can persuade us to overlook the importance of being focused on a systematic plan.
Most people fail to achieve their full potential because they do what they want instead of what they need to do. In order to build anything significant in life a strong foundation must be established. Delayed gratification helps overcome false emotions and helps us establish a legacy for the future.
Immediate gratification syndrome is the “right now disease.” It is the habit where you forgo short-term pain, and instead indulge in fleeting pleasures that ultimately result in long-term pain. I think this originates from our inadequacies and the lack of control over our lives. This results from our propensity to equate who we are with what we have. This can cause the problem of impatience and lack of discipline when committing to long term goals. Immediate gratification syndrome can cause us to forfeit our purpose in life.
Conquering our lower desires
People caught up in the immediate gratification syndrome believe that they can gain something for nothing. However, the reality is that this world does not work that way. There are universal laws that we can’t break. There is nothing free in life, we harvest what we saw, the law of cause and effect, you need to give something to get something back, etc. These rules applies to all aspects of our lives, business, romantic relationships, fitness, spirituality, and mental health.
The person infected with the instant gratification syndrome is like a drug addict. The drug addict does not consume his favorite drug because of the damage it will do to his body, but because of pleasure it provides. Acting on our impulses, just like the drug addict, makes people less patient. The more we are controlled by our pleasures, we become like the drug addict needing a quick fix, many times doing whatever it takes for that fix.
The person who masters patience, masters everything
In life we find ourselves in a crossroad were patience and frustration meet. Frustration is not the key to any door; it will lead you into a spiral to nowhere. Patience is a lifelong spiritual practice as well as a way to find emotional freedom.
You have not achieved your goal yet or people are not doing what you are expecting them to do, and how about rejection and disappointment. How do we deal with them? We are faced with these obstacles daily, sometimes overwhelmed when you have to face multiple attacks.
Most people choose the path of frustration, to give up on their mission, to become irritable and to feel victimized. They give up on their long-term goals and fall for the lure of the sweet voice of the immediate gratification. “Forget that goal that seems to be so far away, instead seek the pleasure of the instant gratification brings”. Fall into the trap of the instant gratification and your life will be ruined, because instant gratification is short lived and after the effect wears off, the pain remains.
Patience is the key when we must encounter the obstacles, we will face in our path to achieving our goals. Patience is action and power. Patience is the emotionally freeing practice of waiting, observing, and understanding when to act.
When we act in frustration we are controlled by agitation and intolerance, triggered when our needs are not met; it is weakness tied to the inability to delay gratification. Our current society has conditioned us, by our own choosing, to become used to immediate results. Weight loss pills that promises to drop weight without exercising or changing our eating habits, emails are sent across the globe in seconds, movies are streamed in seconds and still does not seem fast enough, Google has become the source to seek our answers in less than a second, and the list goes on and on. However, in spite of the benefits that the digital age promised, it has propagated a society with low tolerance for frustration.
If you lack patience, you become your worst taskmaster. You will treat those around you as disposable, instead of investing the needed time to develop a meaningful relationship.
Self-control in today’s world
“Hold fast to discipline, do not let go; Watch over her, for she is your life” Proverbs 4:13
Discipline and planning are sciences with proven theories that will lead you to happiness and success over time. It is not easy but it builds character. Perseverance doesn’t feel good or look good and it presents many difficulties; however, it is necessary in your quest of your goals.
Discipline is crucial because it lies at the intersection of our physical and spiritual being. The physical is inclined towards immediate gratification while the spirit seeks eternal pleasures.
Discipline is crucial to the achievement of any goal. It is discipline what turns our dreams into reality.
In today’s world of instant gratification, we are seeing a decrease in self-control among people. Obesity in the world is at extraordinary proportions because we lack the self-control and discipline to make better choices about what we put into our mouths and what speech comes out of our mouths.
Self-control is the ability to control oneself, to control our emotions and desires, especially in difficult situations. We must be prepared to step outside our comfort zone and extend ourselves and exercise self-control and discipline in our daily lives. This apply equally to what we put in our mouths to what comes out of our mouths.
One of the main characteristics of self-control is the ability to forgo instant and immediate gratification and pleasure, in favor of some greater gain or more satisfying results, even if this requires effort and time. Discipline gives you the power to stick to your decisions and follow them through, without changing your mind, and is therefore one of the important requirements for achieving goals.
Discipline will enable you to persevere through your actions and your mindset, which will lead you to the achievement of your purpose. If that is not enough, discipline or self-control will give you the power and inner strength needed to overcome disorders, addictions, procrastination, laziness, and other negative habits. It will also increase your self-confidence, self-esteem, and joy in life.
Contrary to common belief, discipline is not a limiting lifestyle, instead it is freeing.
Success and Peace Through Delayed Gratification
For most people, there are two objectives in life: one is the attainment of success, and the other is peace of mind.
Success is based on delayed gratification: postponing the desires and pleasures of the moment for a greater tomorrow. The age-old process of success involves the steps of commitment, planning, obedience, and hard work. Although these names may change by culture or era, the sentiment remains the same.
Success starts with personal commitment. It takes courage to commit to delay the impulses of the moment. It takes courage to envision a life beyond the current existence. It takes courage to order the events necessary to achieve this desired life. It takes courage to comply to the requirements of an ordered plan. It takes courage to put in the sustained work necessary to achieve the skills, knowledge, and discipline needed. It takes courage in the heat of the moment to delay this gratification of the moment.
Left unchecked, success leads to envy, greed, and wrath. Fear, the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind, perpetuates these behaviors. Fear is a distressing emotion initiated by a perceived threat and grown in the spirit of scarcity that triggers the ‘fight or flight’ response. When erected upon common, ordinary ground, success is easily threatened by the fear of scarcity. Built upon a solid foundation of humility, success fosters integrity and opens the door to peace.
Peace is a state of mind based upon honesty and integrity in all aspects of life. It is more than obedience to avoid punishment and promote justice. Integrity is doing the right thing for the right reason. Again, delayed gratification is the key.
Peace emerges when the satisfaction of the present is deferred for the reward of this higher level of thought. Integrity eliminates mental conflicts allowing for greater wisdom. Wisdom, in turn, leads to feelings of gratitude for all things. Gratitude fosters peace.
Peace should be the crowning achievement of our existence, the final stroke or the culmination of our work. We seek for peace with self, peace with the earth and environment, and peace with everyone and everything in the world.
How much more valuable would we be to those who surround us if we had established as our goal in the beginning, success with peace of mind.