In today’s world, people not only want to have something straight away, they are also encouraged to have this outlook. It would be easy to see these two aspects as being separate, but part of the reason why people have this outlook is because of the society they live in.
When it comes to adverts, for instance, there is often a focus on how someone can have something straight away and pay for it at a later date. This means that one doesn’t need to save up for what they want, they can have it instantly.
If they don’t want to pay for something later, it might be possible for them to pay in instalments. Either way, their need to experience instant gratification will be met, and they won’t have to experience frustration.
When someone has the need to have everything straight away, it is going to be a lot easier to sell them things. If they were to delay gratification and to buy something at a later date, profits are likely to fall.
This is because not only is someone going to bide their time, it may also mean that they no longer want to buy the same thing. As a result of this, people are not going to be encouraged to have self-control.
If one had to go without what they wanted, there is the chance that they will end up feeling frustrated. Their need to remove this pain is then going to drive them forward and to do everything they can to have what they want.
The more they have what they want when they want it, the harder it is going to be for them to go without having what they want. Their inability to handle pain is going to have a negative effect on their life, but it is going to mean that they are the perfect consumers.
Now, if one had the need to have something to eat or to drink, then it would probably be normal for them to have the desire to fulfil this need instantly. In most cases, it will be relatively easy for this to take place.
But when it comes to needs that are a lot more complex, it is not always going to be possible for them have what they want straight away. One may need to wait for months or even years in order to fulfil their other needs.
Part of Life
If one was to speak to someone who is successful and asked them how long it took them to achieve their level of success, they are unlikely to hear them say that it was something that happened over night. What they are likely to hear is how it has taken them a while to get where they are.
This is not to say that the time it took for one person will be the time it will take for another, but what it does illustrate is how there will be times when one will need to put their need for instant gratification to one side. Even though one might be able to pick up some ideas through spending time with someone who is successful, it still won’t mean that everything will happen instantly.
One may believe that everything should happen straight away, and this is going to have a big impact on their life. But while it is unrealistic to expect things to happen straight away, it doesn’t mean that they are able to realise this.
Based on what they believe and how they feel (along with what they are told by society), they might not even question their outlook. If they were to come into contact with someone who tells them otherwise, they might end up dismissing what they hear.
This could cause one to start something and then before long, they end up giving up. And while this may come down to the fact that it wasn’t what they wanted to do, it might be because they were unable to experience instant success.
They may have come to the conclusion that they are not going to get what they want straight away, and that it would be better for them to do something else. After a short period of time, one may be drawn to something else.
One then ends up having the same experience all over again and after a period of feeling frustrated, they are soon on their way again. If one had the ability to live forever this wouldn’t matter, but as they only have so much time on this earth, it is going to mean that they are wasting their time.
This may cause one to settle for something for something else, and while they might be able to experience instant gratification, it won’t be as fulfilling. At first, one may believe they are on the right track, but this may well be an experience that is short-lived.
If one has the need to achieve something, it will be important for them to have the right outlook. When one expects to achieve something straight away, they are setting themselves up to suffer unnecessarily.
There will be times when everything goes to plan, and then there will be times when it doesn’t; this is why having the ability to tolerate frustration is so important. What one can do to make it easier, is to have smaller goals to work towards.
Through this, it will be easier for them to handle the sets backs, and to keep going regardless of what happens. Their smaller goals will give them the support that they need in order to maintain the drive they need to achieve their bigger goals.
The more one delays gratification, the easier it will become; this is similar to how one’s muscles become stronger the more they use them. However, if one’s need to experience instant gratification is out of control, it may be a sign that they have some emotional work to do.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.