What is the definition of instant gratification? is it possible to over come our primal instincts, including tips to prevent it from running your life.
Instant gratification is the concept that we must have results right away and that we don’t want to wait. It’s an impulsive desire to have things instantly.
This need for instant gratification is believed to be deeply embedded into our subconscious minds. It was once a very important survival tool when the human race was living in caves and fending off predators. That evolutionary instant gratification need would of been vital to us surviving.
Instant gratification is very obvious in modern day society, a common example would be the way many people spend money. Many of us like to buy things for the instant feel good factor not taking into account the long term ramifications like getting into debt, which can reduce the overall quality of a persons life. Another very common example would be over eating, again this will reduce the overall quality of life in the long term.
Many businesses and advertising companies are very aware of the human basic need to get instant results. For example fast foods which taste good and they’re cheap and fast to prepare, they provide instant satisfaction but they’re generally not healthy. We also see this instant gratification need being catered for in the medical world, examples would be, weight loss pills, anti depressant and anti anxiety medications, medications that are designed to get quick results. However many have potential side effects and they may not solve the problem in the long term.
Instant gratification is not always a bad thing, but if it’s too much of a dominant force within somebody it will seriously reduce the quality of life for that individual. Many of the richest and most successful people in the world had to work very hard for a long time to achieve what they have, if they let instant gratification control their minds then they probably would of never earned the success that they have. Even the most successful entrepreneurs, musicians and actors in the world would have had to put up with a lot of rejection, failures and critics. Anyone just after instant results would of never of continued to success with the set backs that many would of had to deal with.
There are always exceptions to how some people gain success and even fame. For example those that inherit money, those people tend not to appreciate it as much as those who have had to work for it and they’re also more likely to lose it all because they do not value it in the same way. Plus they have not trained their minds to prevent instant gratification from being so dominate.
Ways to counter act instant gratification.
1. Understand and realise that instant gratification will reduce the quality of your life in the long term. Often it’s good to live in the now, however too much short term thinking will probably have a negative effect on your overall quality of life.
2. Understand that achieving great things takes time, effort and perseverance. Few people ever achieve anything great over night.
3. Accept that we cannot always have what we want instantly, this type of acceptance can be a very powerful and is an effective way of loosening the control instant gratification has on many of us.
4. Spend some time thinking about your future and what you want to achieve long term, also what sort of person you want to be in the future (self reflection). This may help you look beyond the now and that instant need for gratification.