Instant Gratification

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Mandy has been working in the mental health field for more than eight years and has worked with a diverse group of clients. These range ...Read More

Instant Gratification has a bad name. It is often associated with people who are impatient and who do not possess sufficient discipline. Those that can resist instant gratification for the sake of long term benefits and gains are looked upon as somehow being superior.

In the age of ‘mindfulness’ where we are taught to appreciate the present moment, instant gratification doesn’t seem so bad. Death will come to us all but this concept is pretty much considered taboo and isn’t regularly talked about. As a result, many people live in denial of their ultimate destiny. They squirrel away endless savings in favour of a frugal existence with the long term hope that they will be able to cash in on their self restraint and live off the proceeds forever. There is some sanity in this approach and I am not referring to balanced planning for the future. However, I know of many people who do not enjoy their lives now in lieu of some vague idea of future paradise.


Those that are against instant gratification almost see it as a sin. As if it is virtuous and pious to abstain from pleasure. Eh??

Do you do any of the following…?

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1) Only wear perfume on special occasions

2) Eat the food on your plate that you dislike first, saving the best for last

3) Make yourself wait a week/month/year (?) before finally allowing yourself a much desired treat

4) Wear your favourite clothing/underwear only on special occasions

5) Abstain from general pleasure giving activities

6) Only use crystal glasses when entertaining

If you do any of the following – I want you to stop it now. Stop being a martyr. You deserve to spoil yourself, to live your life NOW. Dust off your favourite crockery and cutlery. Wear you best dress…stop waiting. Reject the commonly held idea that you are a good person by denying yourself. What a load of rubbish.

Obvious exceptions (just to restore some balance) would be:

  • weight loss…don’t eat that doughnut!
  • Saving money…know the difference between what you really want now and what you want most. This applies to concepts such as weight loss, saving money and long term goals such as studying for a degree. For everything else that does not have long term implications, stop waiting!

Learn to savour life now. Don’t infinitely hold off a pleasure you could quite possibly grant yourself sooner. it’s really okay to use it now and really enjoy the moment.

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