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:
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.