One of the most difficult things for anyone to do is to delay the instant rewards or pleasures. In present times, in our society we want to get everything that is good and more than that we want everything right away and while doing this we rarely think about its future impact over our lives. The attitude towards this is developed in younger age when as a child we want everything right away and our parents often don’t give it to us to teach us how to control our desires.
However, the ability to control our desires in the long run to achieve greater rewards contributes highly in the success of our lives. And this ability has its impact of all aspects that are related to our lives. The first noted research on the delayed gratification was performed by a psychologist named Walter Mischel as a Marshmallow test in Stanford.
For the test, Walter performed a test on a group of 4 year old kids and gave them a marshmallow and offered that they can eat it right away or if they wait for a few minutes they will get two marshmallows. Some of the kids ate the marshmallow right away while many were able to keep control of their desire for the given time period.
In later years Mischel followed the academic and behaviour records of all the kids involved in the experiment and discovered that the kids who were able to wait several minutes before eating their marshmallow were significantly more self-motivated, had better academic records, and had higher intelligence level. While the other kids who ate the marshmallow right away were observed to have lower levels of self-esteem and had trouble with school, and were more stubborn than usual.
This experiment cleared that there is a very strong connection between the ability of a person to delay instant rewards and success in his or her goals. The earlier a person learns the importance of delayed gratification, the better he or she is with life. However, you can always start with the exercises to control your ability to control your will. Following are some helpful tips for you to help yourself with the entire process:-
1. Make decisions in advance and stick with them:
When you make a decision about something you should write it on paper.
Try writing details along with it, along with the outcome that you are hoping from it. It’s very hard to deny something that you want in the first place and keeping the same decision for a long time is hard as well. In order to avoid this trouble you have to draw a clean picture of the entire situation in front of you while making a decision and keeping your decisions in writing always helps with that purpose.
2. Know the value of something important:
You can avoid instant rewards only if you know the exact importance of something in your life. You need to know what things are important to you the most and what needs to be cherished. In this entire scenario, satisfaction is the biggest deal and you need to evaluate it clearly. If you want a brand new car for yourself or are you are satisfied with your old car that is completely debt free? Know the things that you want more and satisfaction will work as the key ingredient for your happiness.
If you are perfectly satisfied with your old debt free car than there is nothing more to wish for, and you can hold your thoughts for a brand new car on a hold.
3. Plan Everything:
Having every detail of your life planned ahead is not something that we want but when it comes to your goals and passions, you need to plan your way to reach there. You need to make a plan about your credit and finances to buy something expensive, you need to plan your career path in order to get career excellence and reach the goal. If you are following your desire through a planned method you can easily avoid the urge of settling with the immediate rewards and move forward to your goals more effectively. With a plan, everything that you do goes in the right direction and you can evaluate what you need to do to achieve your goals.
4. Make Priorities:
It is very important that you have clear priorities about your decisions and desires. You have to make the important things the priority for you and don’t let anything else get in your way. The priorities can be financial or more general things like college before entertainment. Having a clear vision allows you to reach your goals faster. If you are saving money for a brand new car then you cannot stop for a while and invest your hard earned money in a new laptop while your old laptop is working just fine. This might give you some instant happiness but in the long run you may feel guilt for your decision.
5. Make short term goals:
The hardest thing to do with delayed gratification is to wait for the reward or the goal. The longer it takes the harder it gets. And at times you may feel like quitting the goal and settle with the immediate reward. The key to control your emotions is to keep yourself self-motivated. To achieve this, instead of choosing a big goal, you can divide it among many short term rewards and celebrate each time you achieve any of these goals. This trick will keep you focused towards the goal and help you stay motivated.
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