“The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Learning to delay gratification can make you happier and more successful in both your personal and professional life. Psychological studies confirm what many traditions have long taught about the power of mental training: a little self-discipline can yield great results!
Here are some of the benefits of waiting for what you want, as well as techniques for becoming more patient.
As our patience increases, we become less vulnerable to anger and its tendency to drive others away from us. We learn to look at the big picture and take other’s feelings into account.
Studies also show that those less practiced at delayed gratification, or “low delayers,” tend to have higher body fat. If you appreciate the long term benefits of nutritious food and regular exercise, you’re less likely to overindulge in junk food.
Drug addiction can be one of the most painful consequences of seeking immediate pleasure. Even legal activities like shopping or watching TV can be destructive if we take them to extremes and allow them to crowd out more meaningful endeavors.
We can make better choices, accomplish more and handle setbacks better.
Many mental health experts now speak in terms of interactions rather than fixed personality traits. Try to identify the circumstances where you have trouble resisting temptation rather than labeling yourself as being weak. This can be helpful in making constructive changes in your life.
The more you learn to control your thinking, the wiser you will become.
Pausing for a second can help you avoid reflexive responses that run against your best interests. Decide if it’s more important to see your kids or spend another hour at the office. Take that morning run rather than sleeping for another half hour if the exercise gives you more energy and keeps you healthier.
You can live in the moment and still be responsible about planning for the future. Find the balance that works for you.
When you’ve fallen in love with a pair of shoes that are too much for your budget, picture them as just a picture lacking any real substance. They’ll be easier to forget.
If such visualizations sound artificial, think about impermanence. Those $400 shoes could get scuffed the first time you wear them, but setting that money aside for retirement could give you a much better future.
Child psychologists find peer modeling to be a highly effective tool for character education. Whatever your age, pick up some valuable lessons by observing someone whose patience you admire.
Have fun finding the strategies that work best for you. Look for daily opportunities to delay gratification, whether it’s a monthly savings plan or transforming those late-night snacks into a more nutritious breakfast.
Throughout your life, you’re likely to spend a lot of your time waiting, so you might as well become good at it. Being able to delay gratification is one of the most important qualities you need to reach your goals. Fortunately, this is a skill that improves with practice!
Brian Tracy said ,“the ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.”
So take a moment right now to think about an area that you could practice delaying gratification in. It doesn’t have to be something big, unless you want it to be and try using the techniques I mentioned and see how it goes.
And make sure to remember as Elder Richard G. Scott said, “don’t give up what you want most for what you want now.”
And again, with a little self-discipline, you are sure to see some awesome results!