Mastering Delayed Gratification


Successful people practice delayed gratification.
Delayed gratification is one of the most effective personal traits of successful people. People that exhibit this type of will power are typically more successful in their personal relationships, career, finances, and basically all areas of their life.

Strengthen your will power.
The practice of delayed gratification is a common element in being able to reach your desired goal. When you are shopping and something catches your eye, do you buy it on impulse or wait a few days? People who have mastered delayed gratification are typically more successful because they exercise willpower and they are willing to wait.

What is delayed gratification?
Delayed gratification refers to the ability to put off something fun or pleasurable now in anticipation for a reward or something bigger and better later.

Stanford marshmallow experiment.
The power of delayed gratification is best known by the experiment conducted by Professor Walter Mischel. In the last 60s, Professor Mischel studied preschoolers to determine what processes enabled a young child to forego immediate gratification, instead waiting for a larger reward. He put a marshmallow in front of the child and told them that if they didn’t eat it and waited for fifteen minutes, they would receive a second marshmallow. Some of the kids held out for a second marshmallow, while others didn’t.

The study didn’t end there.
Researcher continued to study the children into their adolescent years. They found that the children who were able to delay their gratification were better adjusted, more productive, and were more self-motivated. Overall it was determined that these characteristics carried over into adulthood. This experiment was able to predict a variety of important outcomes related to educational achievements, social competence, and even drug use of the people studied.

Mastering delayed gratification.
Whether you would have been the kid who waited to get two marshmallows, or ate the one in front of you, you can still make choices that help you create financial freedom. Here are three strategies to help you:

1) Value what you work for.
If you’re having difficulty reaching your financial goals, it may be time to take a hard look at your behavior.

  • Are you overspending on the weekends to reward yourself for working hard during the week?
  • Are you purchasing items to feel better about yourself or to impress others?
  • Are you overspending on others to feel important or liked?
  • Understanding your behavior and actions around your spending habits will help you make better choices around spending and working towards your long term goals.

    2) Gratitude for what you have.clarity-8
    Maybe you’re caught in the “I’m not enough” mode. When we focus on what we do have versus what we perceive is missing, we are more likely to feel satisfied with life. Write gratitude statements in your journal or repeat them in your head. It’s amazing how we can get by with less by being grateful for what we have.

    3) Success is in the journey.
    Often we give up on a goal because it seems impossible to get there. Some goals may take five, ten, twenty years or longer to achieve. When we can look back and celebrate our progress, we are more likely to be able to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back to work when we fall off the wagon. The process isn’t about being perfect, it’s about recognizing and celebrating our progress.

    Mastering delayed gratification is a process.
    We take a few steps forward and often end up falling back. It sometimes feels impossible to get where we want to be. But over time, if we focus and keep moving in the direction of our goal, we will eventually get there. As we find and celebrate our successes, we can use them as a source of motivation, feel more inspired, and in turn, strengthen our willpower.

    Until next time… make good choices to help you be healthy, wealthy, and wise!

    Jana Groscost


    Hi, I'm Jana Groscost - The Money Muse, entrepreneur, speaker, and author. I'm passionate about empowering people with the tools to live an extraordinary, abundant life.

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