Instant Gratification

For as long as I can remember the education regarding gratification has been to delay it as long as possible. My belief is that delaying gratification is not the most effective way to address addictions. In fact, the reason it feels so unnatural to delay gratification isn't so much because of the habits we've gotten into, but because we humans are hard wired for gratification. I can prove it, I think.

When you shake someone's hand, how soon do you determine whether it was a good hand-shake? Instantly. When you taste something, how long does it take for you to know it either tasted good, or bad? Instantly. I could go on and on with illustrations. Every one of our five senses is wired for instant feedback, so we are instantly gratified or instantly put off by the stimulus. So, it is only natural and expected that we feel more at home in our own skins when we are feeling pleasure.

Before you decide to string me up, let me finish the thought. I'm not saying this gives us license or an excuse to go about doing or saying whatever we want, just because we want to. Remember the ole quote, "I want what I want and I want it now!" What I am suggesting is that we all do two things:

  1. Recognize ways in our daily lives that we are routinely instantly gratifying ourselves that are not unhealthy for us. The key is to recognize it as gratification or something that feels good, and know that we didn't have to delay feeling good. The event that felt good either just happened, i.e., walking into a store and hearing one of your favorite songs being playing over-head or something you did pretty quickly after determining that you wanted it. We will either fulfill our need for gratification in healthy ways or in unhealthy ways. It's not a matter of "if", but of "when".
  2. So, choose to be gratified in ways that are healthy and appropriate.

Recognize that there are times when the gratification will be delayed and times when you will be gratified pretty soon. Don't fight the way we are all wired. I know that some may decide to quote something from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory to say that what I am saying isn't possible. Remember, theories are not facts, just neat ideas that many times do apply to life. Just like what I have shared in this column. So, instead of sitting around and whining, that without the addiction to gratify you, there's nothing to do or enjoy, take a step outside. Look up at the blue sky and instantly enjoy, or brew a pot of coffee and instantly enjoy the aroma.

-- Rick B.



Pretty Good Ideas To Help with Life

  • Don't Retire
  • Floss every day
  • Get some exercise
  • Eat whole grain foods
  • Get at least 6 hours of sleep a day
  • Manage your stress
  • Develop some good habits
  • Stay connected with good people
  • Eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables every day



Stages of Grief

  1. Denial, disbelief, shock
  2. Anger and hostility
  3. Fear, panic, anxiety, despair
  4. Guilt and shame
  5. Sadness, depression, and idealization
  6. Acceptance, hope, and realization.
  7. Productive and resourceful living



Affirmation Kind of Things

  • Today I begin a new life.
  • I will greet this day with love in my heart.
  • I will persist until I succeed.
  • I am a miracle.
  • I will live this day as if it was my last.
  • Today I will be the master of my thoughts and emotions.
  • I will laugh… a lot.
  • Today I will multiply my value by a hundred fold.
  • I will act now.
  • Today I will pray for guidance.