Instant gratification vs. long term goals

What is instant gratification exactly? Instant gratification more often than not is the indulging in fleeting pleasures which looking at the the long run will only hurt you.

By using more concrete examples this could mean refreshing your Instagram feed for the tenth time to check on the amount of likes you got on your latest post instead of reading that book you wanted to get into for so long. It is having that beer after work even tho it isn’t supporting any of your set fitness goals for the six pack you definitely wanted to have this summer.

We are our own worst enemies. In some of these kind of situations it is more obvious to us than in others. It is us fighting ourselves and external forces, which want us to behave in certain ways (e.g. social media).

What made it clearer to identify this behaviour in myself was hearing what Greg McKeown said in an interview with Matt D’Avella:

”… we are saying no all the time and everybody is. What we are not aware of is that we are saying no. So we’re just saying no in a compulsive way. Every time I check email I’m saying no to something. Every time I randomly go on social media or on YouTube which is its on kind of social media, every time you get pulled in some binge watching you’re saying no to something.”

This stuck with me. It is burnt in like hot iron into flesh.

It is easy to lose focus on the long term goals since they are not immediately visible. Stuff that grants us instant gratification usually is.

So try this, the next time you’re about to say yes to something just for a second pause and think what you’re about to say no to. Think about what short-, mid- or long-term goal you’re delaying to reach or maybe even completely giving up on.