In this world of social media, internet, and credit cards, we can have anything we want right away – whether it’s to know how old Taylor Swift is or to buy that Coach purse. Instant gratification is as natural as breathing.However, just because it is natural and all around us, doesn’t mean it is a good thing. “Back in my day”, we had to work for everything we wanted. When we needed to know when someone was born, we had to go the library, pull out a long drawer and find a resource that gave us that information. It took time and effort to get what we wanted. Today, it is easier, but as I have found out, easier isn’t always better.So, what have we lost in this instant gratification world we live in today? Here are just a few of the important skills we have lost with this change:
- The work – When you don’t have to work for something, it doesn’t mean as much. When something is just handed to you or is easy to get, you lose the importance of the process. Working for something gives you the purpose that you need for the item to have value.
- The filter – With everything being so instant now, we don’t take the time to run things through our filter first. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should buy something or not. We don’t take the time to think about whether we should post something or email something or not. And once it is out there, you can’t undo it. You need to make sure everything runs through your filter before you proceed.
- The lesson of failure – With instant gratification, when something doesn’t work out right away, we give up. We lose the gift of time to try, try again. We expect it to happen immediately exactly the way we want and when it doesn’t, which most of life doesn’t, we give up. One of my mantras is never give up! I know some things work and some things don’t and I learned this lesson before the instant gratification era. But I never give up – I just try something different.
There are so many subjects, including personal finance, that have been removed from the schools simply because “they can look that up”. Personal finance is 10% math and 90% emotion – so Google can help with the 10%, but what about the 90%. With instant gratification, we have put ourselves in over $13 trillion – yes, trillion, of consumer debt. We believe if I don’t buy it now, I will never have it. How many of you have bought a house at the wrong time and have spent the last years in a nightmare? How many of you can’t live your dreams because you have a stack of bills filled with instant gratification? How do we overcome instant gratification when it is everywhere and seems to make life so easy? Here are a few tips:
- Pause for 24 hours – for every decision, not just the money ones
- Never give up – no matter what
- Be willing to be the turtle
- When you don’t get what you expect, try again or simply wait
- Go old school and learn something not using the internet
- Be ok if you don’t get your way right away
We may be an Instant Pot society, but you don’t have to live the Instant Pot life. Make one change today that will help you fight the instant gratification world we live in. You won’t regret it!