We live in a world where everything is designed to give instant results. Drive-throughs, pre-packaged food and microwaves allow us to eat in minutes without having to invest time and energy into preparation or to wait for regular cooking times. We don’t even have to dial full telephone numbers to reach friends or family because of speed dial.
Everything is designed so that we get what we want instantly, and credit cards challenge us to “buy now and pay later” even though we will pay more for the purchased items because of interest charged. Convenience can foster impulsivity, however, and that can lead to problems. Emotions can escalate when we don’t get what we want in the timeframe we expect.
The term “delayed gratification” involves having the ability to resist temptation for immediate rewards and wait for rewards in the future instead. In the late 1960s and early 1970s psychologist walter mischel who was a professor at stanford university conducted a series of studies with children in which they were offered choices. They were told that they could choose one small reward such as a marshmallow, cookie or pretzel immediately or two small rewards if they were willing to wait for a short period of approximately fifteen minutes.
The children who were able to control themselves and wait were found over the long term to have better life outcomes in many areas of their lives. These experiments were questioned by others and further studies suggested that willpower was not the sole factor involved. Professor mischel’s work, however, causes us to think about our behaviours and compare ourselves to the children involved.
Here are some hints to help you implement delayed gratification: i love getting bargains. I wanted to travel to hawaii this winter but was willing to wait for a deal. This month i benefitted from a return flight to maui with all fees and taxes for less than five hundred dollars.
I also had a two-hundred-dollar coupon for the same airline so will travel there and back for a total cost of under three hundred dollars. Delayed gratification pays in both financial savings and an emotional thrill! why not try it for yourself!.