DELAYING GRATIFICATION: “Good things come to those who wait.”

The famous Marshmallow Test.

I bought this book last May and to be honest, I just started reading it yesterday. I guess I’m not really a bookworm but because I was bored yesterday while answering calls in the office, I gave it a shot. This book, “The Road Less Travelled” was referred to me by my friend Edel and based on its cover; it says “A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth”. Hmmmm, ahhh, okay.

Anyway, I started reading it and the first part was about DISCIPLINE. The book talked about how life is difficult (which is a truth that we all need to accept) and that problems are gonna be there no matter what. According to him, the only way to go through life’s struggles is to face the problem head on and have self discipline. He then presented the four tools to discipline and the first tool is through Delaying Gratification.

Delaying Gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. He said that it is the only decent way to live. Now how does it work?

Ok, I know some of you guys (including myself) can relate to this. Let’s take the office scenario. Minsan, some of us have the tendency to procrastinate or postpone some task during the first two hours of the shift due to some factors: Checking our Facebook/Twitter account first, visiting our friends’ workstation or chatting with them first for the latest chika, feeling lazy or sleepy because we work at night or believing that cramming will give us best results in what we do. In general, we tend to devote the first two hours to the more satisfying or easy part and the remaining hours to the unpleasant (a.k.a TRABAHO) or the difficult part of it.

Based on personal experience, when I put off what is difficult or unpleasant, the neglected tasks hang over me like a cloud day after day and sometimes, there’s no more time left to accomplish it. Delaying gratification suggest that if we do the unpleasant part (a.k.a TRABAHO) during the first two or three hours of the shift , then we will be free to enjoy the remaining hours doing the fun stuff. Besides, two or three hours of pain followed by five hours of pleasure is way better than the other way around.

The result? That worry-free feeling knowing that you’re already done with your tasks, feeling effective as an individual and a small part of the organization, and the best part, much more guilt-free time to spend.

I suddenly realized, I had that feeling whenever I go to the gym. I wake up very early like 4 hours before my shift just to feel the pain of running on the treadmill. But sa isip ko, after my workout, I’ll go to the nearest Starbucks and treat myself with a slice of cake or even eat a full meal. And I feel good eating because I knew that I’ve done the hard part of weight loss already.

I really like this lesson and I’m very willing to try it out in a consistent manner. 🙂

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