Can Delayed Gratification Be Its Own Reward?
Or, what if you sacrifice now for later, and end up with neither?
One of the happiest truths I’ve ever discovered is that I can find real joy in delayed gratification.
It’s a good thing, too. Because sometimes I make some dandy plans to cut out this and postpone that, only to find out that our income is about to get axed unexpectedly and we’re going to end up unable to afford this, that, or the other thing.
But what about the sacrifice I’m making in order to save money for a new car? Hey, I could have fake nails and an unrealistic tan and some tatoos that look a lot different after I gain ten pounds, if only I didn’t defer gratification. The LEAST I expect for denying myself those small pleasures (and many more) is to be able, in the final analysis, to spend my hard-saved money on something I truly want and need!
And yes, I’ve got a car fund. But our lives, in spite of our wonderful intentions, often interfere with our best laid plans. What if, instead of a new car, we need that money to cover economy-related down times with our business? What if we realize that we aren’t nearly as prepared for emergencies as we should/could be, and that a used car would meet our needs and give us some cash to further bolster our efforts toward self-reliance?
It’s a blessing in life if you find you can be content with the basics of food and clothing and shelter. It’s a fantastic blessing if you can train yourself to bypass what you think you want right this second in favor of what you’re reasonably certain you’ll need next month or next year.
And if it turns out that your fully-funded travel account, which you intended to spend on a cruise, instead is called upon to get your through a short term disability you had no way of predicting, well. How exactly is that a bad thing?
You’ll get your chance to travel, and in the meantime, you’ve been able to provide for a shortfall without having to take out another mortgage on the house or top off the credit cards.
That, to me, is the kind of instant gratification that thrills me no end—-being able to function as our own mini-bailout program.
I love it that delayed gratification really can be its own reward, and as an added bonus, I’ll never have to worry about a tiny rosebud tat on my rear end turning into a giant overblown peony.
I’m just sayin’.