May 8, 2018 |

Delaying Gratification

We live in a culture of immediate gratification.  We’ve been trained to expect everything now.  And  when I say “now”, I mean NOW.  Success and career are no exception.  Blame (in large part) the technology industry.  From a historical perspective, the emergence of technology giants Facebook, Amazon and SpaceX happened fast.  Careers were made, and great wealth was created in less than 25 years.  Pretty immediate gratification.

The psychological impact of this phenomenon has been to normalize an unrealistic career expectation of what is likely for most people.  Although there is only one Zuck, one Bezos and one Musk among the Earth’s seven billion people, we have a new generation of American worker who uses those companies as a benchmark. Their frame of reference around advancement, responsibility and rewards has been forever altered.

As a practical matter, most of us know that we’re not the next Zuck, Bezos or Musk.  But we still want immediate gratification.  The good news is that we can learn from those guys.  Here’s one thing they intuitively understood:

**Future Gratification > Immediate Gratification**

These guys delayed the gratification of hanging with friends, sleeping, eating, social events, working out, reading a book…they understood that what they want in the future is more valuable than what they want in the moment.  And this is the magic:  They use that paradigm for making decisions in the present.  They understand that future gratification > immediate gratification.

So, can you accelerate your success?  Absolutely.  Where do you start?  Delay gratification.  What is your vision for your future?  Is it more important than what you want right now?  (If it isn’t, you don’t have a powerful enough vision.)  Use the power of that vision to drive your immediate, daily decision making.  Commit to it, and watch what happens.