Gratification (delayed or instant) is one of the most important determinants of our lot in life. For most of us, instant gratification is the preferred choice. We might as well have our share of the cake than to wait in anticipation. Consequently, this seemingly simple I-want-it-now attitude has influenced some key aspects of our life.
Those who are able to take on the challenge of the waiting game are usually the achievers. The impatient though are stuck in circles; their tendency for instant gratification has led them nowhere; they are at lost in handling the discomfort inherent in every aspect of transitions. Hard work, patience, perseverance and creativity are all circumvented on its behalf. We lose sight of what we want to achieve, and more inimical is our belief that chance will never favor us in the future. So we grab with urgency. When questions arise we want immediate answers, when problem nags we want immediate solutions, venturing into business we want immediate conversions—everything that will put instant gratification we immediately aspire. However, long-term achievement in life does not abide by this rule.
Let me sight some areas of life that are mostly affected by this predilection of ours.
First is upon embarking on our dreams. In the initial phase we are full of enthusiasm, our creativity is overflowing. We carefully plot our plans of action to get our desired results. Then notice something, when all is laid accordingly we are itching for immediate results. We can’t seem to accept the necessity of time! When our impatience has proved its dominance, we let go and give up. Ever imagine why few are successful with their dreams? Instant gratification does not allow the gall of waiting.
Another is on our personal well-being. Since we don’t like discomfort, we prefer the instant gratification of being ensconced in our familiar self—irrespective of our shortcomings, irrespective of our ignorance and irrespective of our need for change. The consequence of this foolishness is our slow and oftentimes painful degradation. This is one reason few discovers their own greatness. Who would have wanted to improve oneself when personal decay promises the security of constant gratification?
In matters of relationships, instant gratification has done so much damage. One of its most powerful manifestations is our selfishness. In any forms of relationship—be it deep relationship like friendship and love, or institutional relationships like marriage, or social relationships like business and politics—we all secure our claim. We always want to be on the edge, it does not matter if our means will hurt somebody, so long as we are gratified by our ways. Consider marriage, it has been a sad fact of our present generation that most marriages end up in divorce. The common reason, which has become an institutionalized excuse, has been put glamorously by most divorced celebrities: irreconcilable differences. This is a slap in the vows of marriage. From what I understand, marriage is a test of character, it engenders growth for each couple, it is where the seed of understanding germinates, and it evolves each to be a better person. Unfortunately this takes the unwanted option of time.
Imagine how your life would be if you have allowed yourself the wisdom of delayed gratification? Perhaps you could have opted a better option, or have gotten a golden opportunity. Yet the past belongs to the past and the present will always provide an opportunity to make amends. Give yourself a chance to discover other possibilities. There is more for you out there and unless you are willing to let time do a little of its work, you will never be given the chance to chose among the infinite alternatives waiting for you.
“All good things come to he who waits”
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