In this episode, I break down the difference between delayed and immediate gratification and why this might be a giant puzzle piece missing in your pursuit of results in your life. Your brain is hardwired to desire immediate pleasure. The problem though is that hard wiring doesn’t often serve your bigger version for yourself.
We live in a culture where everything we want can literally be at our fingertips in minutes.
Want an ice cream sundae…Doordash or Uber it.
You want a new kitchen gadget, a sweater…Amazon it.
What about a relationship or fling…hop on Tinder.
Or perhaps you want a body composition change? Pay for plastic surgery.
While these are amazing conveniences, they do reaffirm the brain’s ability to get exactly what it wants when it wants.
This applies to all areas of life:
- Revenue goals.
- Publishing a website.
- Posting on social media.
- Scale weight.
Here is something I strongly believe in and see in my clients:
Your ability to delay gratification is directly correlated to your long-term success.
Delayed Gratification: the ability to delay pleasure
Immediate gratification: instant feedback that feels good, it feels good at the moment but that doesn’t last.
In marriage: you want to start an argument to get back at your spouse but it only feels good in the moment and then it creates tension.
Hopping on social media to maybe avoid but then you lose hours
Eating the dessert and then the feel-good fading and being replaced with other emotions later.
Buying on amazon.
Can we talk about an iconic reference to this…if you are a Janet Jackson fan can you remember her song Pleasure Principle?
It’s a reference to Sigmund Freud’s “pleasure principle” which states that the need for immediate pleasure is part of our makeup. Kids are such a great example of this.
Why is instant gratification a problem?
Immediate gratification from my perspective is the single greatest reason change is hard in different areas for different people. This is why losing weight, building a business, saving money and building wealth, building a sustainable marriage. We are fighting our instinct to make changes.
If we constantly give in to the need for immediate pleasure we will not be able to create results.
There is deep neuroscience around the receptors in our brain and how pleasure and pain impact our behaviors.
Consequently, delayed gratification is more challenging.
But, there are also benefits of delayed gratification.
What are these benefits of learning to delay gratification?
- You build the muscle of resilience and learn that you are here for the long run
- Focus on action over the outcome
Additionally, I share tips to learn to create the delayed gratification muscle and you can check them out here: