Delaying gratification in today's world seems like a herculean task. At several points throughout the day you are faced with micro decisions of impulsivity or discipline. One of the first questions to ask yourself is Why should I consider delaying gratification?
This is a great question, and it deserves some serious attention since your future is riding on it.
Well it's quite simple on the surface, If you want to make things better in the future you make sacrifices today. You already know this, for instance if you want to become healthier it would be wise to choose a fruit or vegetable for lunch rather than fast food junk. The healthier food choice is for your future self that does not exist now, but will come into manifestation if the proper sacrifice is made consistently.
Since we became self conscious we made a startling discovery... the FUTURE. The future is an incredible place filled with infinite possibilities of what you could become. Like any phenomena, there is always another side, the discovery of the future also holds the realization of your boundaries, limits and inescapable mortality.
One question is... Are you willing to sacrifice your current self for your future self? Assuming you have set your ideals up properly and are aiming at a higher state than you currently reside, the answer is YES, yes you are willing, for that is the only way to make our difficult existence worthwhile. But here is one of the main reasons why you won't make the sacrifice, you don't have the ability to visualize a future ideal enough to get you to act and move toward it. You would rather take an actual and immediate treat at this very moment than two or more imaginary treats in the future.
Is sacrifice easy? No, it's one of the hardest things to do, which is why so few do it. Few are able to imagine a better future, put the steps together and actualize them day to day choice by choice, always making the choice for the future self rather than the immediate gratification of the current self today.
This is where discipline comes in, in fact discipline is wanting to do something now, but instead you forestall the immediate gratification and instead focus your resources on something you feel will bear fruit in the medium to long range future. Discipline is the ability to make consistent sacrifices day in and day out. By making today a little less impulsive you increase the likelihood of making tomorrow more secure and productive. This can be a choice you make for yourself or for your children. To use an example from my adolescence, most middle school kids have a difficult time forecasting and making a plan for the future. Instead, children are mainly focused on immediate gratification and led by impulsivity. My parents made a sacrifice for me and my future, they decided to remove me from a school district that was in the decline and send me to a private school that would set me up for a brighter future. To this day I thank them and I'm incredibly grateful, but I remember at the time I did not have the ability to see the future potential of what the change offered, instead I was focused on my current friends and the removal of the structure I had set up.
Sacrifice for the sake of sacrificing won't stick, it needs to be aimed at a goal or an ideal. This is where the imagination and inner vision is extremely important, WHAT IS IT YOU WANT EXACTLY? To begin with it needs to be obtainable. Not too easy where little to no effort is needed but also not to extreme where the chance of failure is too high. Look at your daily routine, how much television you watch, what you eat and drink throughout the day consistently, where should you start? You are aware of 5, 10, 15, 20 things that you are doing each day that you shouldn't be. Pick one, the sacrifice will pay off, whether it's financial, nutritional, relationship based.
If you have any questions or would like to work one-on-one feel free to email me at email@example.com, have a wonderful week everyone.