Delayed Gratification


If I want something to happen, it better be fast. Delaying gratification does not come easy. It’s critical to learn this skill early in life though. Most surely, it will affect some important aspects of your life (e.g. studying, saving, career).

Three things seem to be crucial here:

  1. Thinking with an end in mind.
  2. Sustaining momentum.
  3. Celebrating success.

1. Thinking with an end in mind

This is one of Stephen R. Covey’s seven habits for successful people. Having the big picture in mind – not only with regard to life, but any project or task at hand. Seeing it as a whole, even if an initiative is broken into smaller chunks (to make it more manageable).

Speaking of breaking into pieces, take a look at The Four Precepts of Rene Descartes’ Discourse on the Method. Some things don’t change.

2. Sustaining momentum

It’s difficult to maintain the same pace throughout the whole run. Routine helps a lot here, good tools are useful. Most important of all is to have regular checkpoints to review and celebrate the completion of any intermediate task (product) on our way. Falling behind is not an option.

It’s good to remember that any lack of rest can cumulate and produce depression. In turn, our mood influences the way we perceive things. Our viewpoint changes easily, the consequences of our decisions – do not.

In addition, take a look at The Progress Blog’s earlier entry – The Track to Mastery.

3. Celebrating success

Even the most teeny tiny success deserves celebration. If you don’t know how to cherish your progress, do you really believe you would be happy “at the end of the road?”

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