This post “importance of delayed gratification” first appeared on my podcast channel –Comeback Minimalist.
Do you feel kicked or motivated when you have your morning coffee or when your social media post gain more likes or when you buy something in your wish list?
These all are examples of Gratification which is defined as pleasure or satisfaction.
Let me share something about “Marshmallow experiment“. It’s an experiment where children were asked to choose between a smaller treat, which they can immediately eat and a larger treat for which they have to wait a little.
What does it mean? This experiment basically tests our self control.
Most of the Kids tend to grab a smaller treat and do not choose to wait as Kids cannot control their senses in comparison to adults. Kids are not good at delaying his gratification feeling.
But in today’s world, instant gratification has become a norm for kids and adults, both. We are always up for instant rewards on every single accomplishment of ours and our Kids.
As adults, are we ready to wait? We want quick success in our Career, we want to earn quick and we want to retire early too. We have become addicted to this instant work-reward system.
When we were Kids, we were not introduced to this instant gratification thing. We were made to work hard to get something. We were made to wait until a special day.
But today, we need to practice this intentionally and delay the gratification because without it, we all will become anxious and ungrateful souls.
Importance of delayed gratification in our lives
Did you ever noticed yourself rewarding yourself with sweets or fried food? Occasionally this is fine but making this a habit is not good. So when it comes to food, practicing delayed gratification helps s in controlling our food patterns and cutting down the calories.
With everything available at single click, we tend to indulge in mindless shopping. Options like same day delivery has worsen the situation. So practicing delayed gratification helps us in controlling our buying desires, avoiding unnecessary shopping and saves us money.
No wonder why delayed gratification is the secret to Minimalism. Now we know what do we need to control our buying and attain financial freedom. It’s this habit of delaying the gratification.
How to practice delayed gratification?
First, let’s talk about food. Whenever you feel getting attracted to high calorie food, try distracting yourself by indulging in something more interesting to let the craving go.
To fix the mindless shopping, you need to do 2 things-
- Delete all or most of the shopping apps from your Smartphone.
- Before picking up anything, ask yourself “Do you really need it right now?”
Suppose you are tempted to buy a new book in stores. Ask yourself if you really going to read it just after it comes. If yes, go on and buy it but if you already have reading backlog, you will not going to pick it up for some time or otherwise your current reading will get postpones. So, not a win-win situation.
Same goes for clothes, shoes and other things.
This was all about us. Now with today’s kids it’s not that easy because they have always seen a world where everything is quick- Calling Alexa to play whatever they feel like, ordering their most recent liked toy over Amazon or ordering the food they feel like eating.
Let’s first put a stop to all these quick fixes.
We are always bartering with kids. Do this and you will get a candy. Finish this and you will get some screen time. Rather than bartering them for things, let’s reward them with a hug or kiss or your time by playing with them or just listening to their virtual stories.
When your child accomplish something or do a kind act, don’t be quick in rewarding them with stuff or screen time. Let feel-good factor should be the inspiration instead.
Also, we need to be patient while helping our kids learn this important skill.
Related read- Minimalist living with Kids
So, next time you are tempted to buy something or binge on comfort food, try to delay that gratification.
Don’t quit to that voice in our head “It’s just the last time”
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