Embrace delayed gratification

Hello my precious girls. I love you with everything I have.

When you think of your future, do you think BIG? You should. You hold unstoppable potential to bring forth every goal God has put in your heart. Fully exploiting this potential will require you to embrace a crucial mindset: delayed gratification. Reject the temptations for immediate pleasure today and gain a depth of riches over the course of your entire life.

Studying is hard. Watching tv is easy and fun. Eating vegetables is a drag. Eating ice cream is instantly satisfying. Buying a sweet new pair of kicks is exciting. Saving for the future is boring.  Our society has gotten soft over the past few decades. It’s commonplace to falsely believe we should feel continuous pleasure, wait for nothing, work for nothing and feel no discomfort. Our next-day delivery culture has added to the challenge. We are impatient. “Just do what feels good” is the misguided mantra of many. Immediate gratification results in habitually turning to short-lived, superficial and even destructive actions. Common short-sighted pleasures include fleeting shopping highs, compromising alcohol or substance use, obsessive media consumption or endless sugar binges. The ramifications of moment-to-moment living extends from feeling constantly unfulfilled, to falling massively short of achieving the dreams God has put in our hearts. But I want more for you. Glance beyond the immediate and you will find so much more.  

I want you to experience joy to the depths. This emerges when you intentionally reject the lure of short-term pleasure in favor of a much bigger, vastly more awesome outcome. For example:  

  • Place studying solidly ahead of partying on your priority list and enjoy a much wider range of career opportunities.
  • Forgo tv time or gaming to sharpen your skills and enjoy the exhilaration of moving beyond the middle to excel at your chosen craft.   
  • Politely decline the free bread while eating out and enjoy the elimination of guilt and gain the satisfaction of being in full control of your health.
  • Read a book in lieu of scrolling the feed and spark ideas, expand your mind and enjoy life-long personal growth.
  • Sacrifice the wardrobe expansion in favor of money in the bank and provide your future with killer flexibility. Greater saving equals greater choices.
  • Be a fully attentive, intentional, patient mom or teacher (day, after day, after day, even in the moments you just want the madness to stop) and lift your children toward patience, thoughtfulness, confidence, independence and resilience.

Here’s the wonderful news. The gratification is not lost. It’s merely delayed. Think back to those times throughout your life that you felt massively proud of yourself. Did your accomplishment result from something you did instantly? Likely not. It was something you had to envision and work for over time. For most of us, our proudest moments took effort, frustration, refinement and importantly . . .  time. There is such an indescribable SATISFACTION that comes when you exercise the discipline of delaying. Earning a scholarship to play Division I soccer took years of practice, so much sweat, playing in 35-degree rain, whistle sprints with the boy’s team, back squats weighted for failure and more. Those were the most fulfilling, fun and proudest times of my life. Real accomplishment through persistent hard work Feels So Good!! It’s not pleasure. It’s pure joy and will pave the path toward anything you hope to accomplish.

All my Love, Mom

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