What Is Instant Gratification
“The obsession with instant gratification blinds us from our long-term potential.”
By Parth and Yabesh
You must have heard phrases like “be present” or “the time is now“. These words are good, and being mindful or living in a present moment is an excellent way to live. But, getting whatever you want in the present time and completely forgetting the future is definitely not good.
This will make you lazy and complacent. And destroy your long-term goals.
And the habit to forgo short term pain which ultimately result a long-term pain or regret, is called Instant Gratification. Let’s dive deep to understand exactly what it is.
What is Instant Gratification?
Instant Gratification is the urge to get a pleasurable experience, even if you have to sacrifice a long term goal. It creates a strong desire for an immediate benefit. For Example: You’re overweight for 2 months but you continue eating unhealthy fast food, for an immediate reward.
It is a Human nature to want good things as early as possible. It was an evolutionary advantage for our Ancestors, as need to take more immediate decisions and far less long term gain. It was smarter to eat fatty food when starvation was a much bigger concern than obesity.
The opposite of instant gratification is delayed gratification. It is the decision to put off your satisfying desire to gain a long-term reward or benefit. (We will later discuss about it more)
At this present Era,
We have everything in our fingers tips that we overdo certain things for pleasure and later regret in the future. Most common negative effects of instant gratification are obesity, procrastinate, depression, health issues, career failures, etc.
We need to focus on long-term goals instead of short term pleasure. But how can we can do that?
How to avoid Instant gratification?
“Instant gratification is a dream killer.”
Here are some tips to avoid instant gratification and work on your long term plans
If you find yourself indulging in the instant gratification trap. Immediately, distract yourself from it, to a less pleasurable activity. The more time you take to distract yourself, the harder it will get.
If you don’t distract yourself, then you will fall into a pleasure loop and waste literally hours in it. You can distract yourself by doubting your behavior. Here are two ways to do it:
First, put yourself away from the temptation and just sit quietly thinking about “what, how, and why it happened?” Try to think logically rather than emotionally.
Second option is to talk to someone for help and discuss what happened to you. And also ask for some tips, if you want.
You can use different ways to distract yourself from it but make sure it’s not a another activity you can indulge into.
2.Give Yourself Options to Choose
We all can make better choices, if we give ourselves options to choose.
In a 2014 study, two groups of people were asked that:
i) Would you prefer to receive $6 today or $8.50 in 46 days? (called a hidden-zero format)
ii) Would you prefer to receive $6 today and $0 in 45 days, or $0 today and $8.50 in 46 days? (called an explicit-zero format).
Results showed that people with options(explicit-zero format), indulge less with instant gratification. Then the people with another format.
So, make sure before you take any decision you first think of the possible options. And then choose the ond wisely.
Other things you can do to avoid instant gratification.
3.Use a Reward System.
4.Create Reminders of your long term goals.
5.Don’t make Excuses: You have to keep yourself accountable for what you do.
6.Learn to manage self control.
7.Practice with Consistency.
Learn how to…
1. Work on Priorities
2. Build a discipline
3. Manage Your Time
4. Avoid Procrastination
5. Work for long-term
See anything can be used for our good or bad. It’s completely our choice what we do. It’s the same case with instant gratification. But as instant gratification is not any small problem, you must first start by being aware of it. To some people it can come naturally and if it does not come.
Try observing yourself for 3 days and write
down “Instant Gratification” every time you find yourself craving for different things and also write down the thing you are craving for. After three days just choose one thing you want to change.
Ask yourself some of these questions:
• Why do you crave this thing?
•Is there a specific time and place for it?
Can something else(which is definitely good for you) replace it and still give
you that feeling?
After answering these questions, write down a plan for fighting the craving. Now execute it for 15 days. After 15 days take and take a break of 3 days and again execute the whole process for 2 months. This will help you train your mind to fight
the craving. And one last piece of advice, don’t forget you are a human.
As Alexander Pope said,
“To err is human”
It’s ok to have some instant gratification stuff provided it don’t spoil your life. The trick is not to eliminate instant gratification completely but to just keep it in check.
If any of your instant gratifications is not spoiling your life but wasting your time,
then schedule it. Take out some time daily for doing these things.
As anyway, you are going to do these things, then why not, schedule them so they
don’t decrease your daily productivity.
And don’t forget to write in the comments “What’s your biggest instant
gratification bad habit ”. It will help you reflect on your bad habits so that you can change them.
Adiòs, bye bye