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What if I told you that you could have $100 right now? No catch, just free money! You would probably say “Heck yeah!”, take the money and head on over to the mall and pick up a pair of those nice shoes you’ve been eyeballing. Hold on just a second though. What if I told you that there was another option? How does $1000 sound? I know what you’re thinking, what’s the catch? Well you’re right, there is one. In order to receive 10 times the original offer you have to wait. You have to be able to wait 3 months before getting your hand on any of the money. Instead of waiting these long months you can opt out at any time and just settle for the quick cash of $100. The choice to wait in order to receive a greater reward is known as the method of decision making called delayed gratification. Delaying gratification means to make a choice that limits the ability to receive something now, in order to be able to have something better later. Choosing to practice this method of decision making throughout life certainly can lead to success, and here’s why.
One of the first aspects of life in which practicing delaying gratification can improve is your career. Sometimes just wanting your dream job isn’t enough to actually make it happen. Some of the steps in your journey of reaching your career goal may be not so fun. In order to get that dream position one day “you may need to put up with some pretty boring or less-interesting roles to start with, so you can build your fundamental understanding of what it is you need to know.” (Brendan Baker, 2012)
A second aspect of life in which practicing delaying gratification can improve is your finances. One very common and maybe one of the most difficult examples of delayed gratification is the choice of a person to be able to save money now in order to purchase a nicer product in the future.(Brendan Baker, 2012) Will power becomes a very important part of practicing delaying gratification when it comes to money. Whether it’s that cute dress you’ve seen in the clothing store window or a cup of coffee on your way to work, we are overwhelmed with opportunities to spend money every single day and us as humans love stuff, whatever it might be for you. This is why it is so difficult to make the smarter choice when it comes to money. In order to help reach our financial goals we must think about what really matters most, spending now for a small gratification, or saving now for that much larger pleasure in the future.
Lastly, a third aspect of life in which practicing delaying gratification can help improve is your health. With fast food chains around every corner it is certainly difficult for us to miss out on that opportunity to get a burger, large fry and a coke with the great convenience of a drive through window and a low price. However making this choice can have damaging effects on our health in the long run. By making the choice of avoiding the fast food and instead making a trip to the grocery store and spending a little more on ingredients for a healthier meal alternative, we are delaying gratification. Although this choice may be a little more expensive, inconvenient and time consuming we are living a healthier lifestyle and it is surely better for us in the long run.
As you can see, practicing this method of decision making throughout life certainly can lead to greater success in your career, finances, and health. Ultimately, delaying gratification is making a choice that enhances your willpower, and helps you reach your bigger goal at a later time. Change your life for the better and choose to delay your gratification.