The Instant Gratification Monkeys Among Us
“We want instant lunch, instant cure, instant miracles, instant salary, instant success — instant everything. This instant civilization, we have obsessed with, has made us grow a tad too impatient in virtually everything about life. And, of course, that doesn’t serve us so well.” — Boniface Sagini
We all know them. We might even be one of them. They’re the ones who are constantly checking their phones for new notifications or waiting for the latest episode of their favorite show to drop.
I’m talking, of course, about the instant gratification monkeys among us.
You know the feeling. You’re sitting in class or at work, trying to focus on the task. But your mind keeps wandering to that notification you got earlier or the latest episode of your favorite show.
Before you know it, you’re off in La-La Land, and the next thing you know, hours have passed, and you’ve accomplished nothing. Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone.
In today’s society, we are bombarded with messages telling us that we can have whatever we want and have it now.
From 24/7 access to entertainment and information to same-day delivery of our online purchases, we expect immediate gratification.
But what if I were to tell you that those who can resist instant gratification often have more successful careers and happier lives in the long run?
Studies have shown that people who can delay gratification are more likely to achieve their professional and personal goals.
So before succumbing to another eating binge or spending hours scrolling through social media, ask yourself if it’s worth sacrificing greater rewards in the future.
In the words of Confucius, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Take a step back and check whether those tiny instant gratification moments are worth it in the long run. You might be surprised at what you find.
What Is Instant Gratification?
Before we talk about why you should resist instant gratification, it’s essential to understand what it is.
Instant gratification is “the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.” In other words, it’s the urge to immediately meet your needs and desires without waiting.
This concept is nothing new; it’s been around since the dawn. But, instant gratification has become more prevalent in recent years due to advances in technology and social media.
With everything at our fingertips 24/7, we’ve become accustomed to getting what we want when we want it. And when we don’t get what we want right away, we get frustrated, impatient, and restless.
The problem with instant gratification is that it’s often short-lived; the pleasure we get from satisfying our needs and desires is usually gone as soon as we get it.
This can lead to a never-ending cycle of wanting more and more without ever being satisfied. And this cycle can be detrimental to our mental and physical health; studies have linked instant gratification to anxiety, depression, and obesity.
What is an Instant Gratification Monkey?
An Instant Gratification Monkey is a term used to describe the human tendency to want instant gratification. This is often seen in the form of impulse buying or binge-watching.
The term can also describe someone who has an addiction and needs something that will make them feel better immediately. This could be anything from drugs or alcohol to sex, food, shopping, etc.
Despite the many negative consequences of instant gratification, it can also be helpful in certain situations.
For example, if you need to focus on a challenging task that requires sustained mental effort, taking a few minutes for some instant gratification may help engage your brain and improve your productivity.
The key is to keep these moments of instant gratification short and controlled rather than letting them take over our lives.
So before giving into another moment of instant gratification, ask yourself: is this action going to benefit me in the long term? If the answer is no, then it’s time to rethink your approach and find more meaningful ways to achieve fulfillment.
Lasting happiness comes from delayed rewards — not immediate ones.
“We’ve become so addicted to instant gratification that we’re blind to the impact it has on our lives.” — Frank Sonnenberg
The Nature of Impulsivity
One of the critical characteristics of instant gratification is impulsivity. Impulsivity can be defined as a tendency to act without thinking things through, manifesting in many different ways.
For example, impulsive people may be more likely to engage in risky behavior, make snap judgments or decisions, or have difficulty resisting impulses and desires.
At its core, impulsivity is driven by an urge for immediate gratification. Whether we are tempted by food, drugs, shopping, or some other form of instant pleasure, our impulse to please these urges often overrides any thoughts of long-term consequences or goals. This can lead to problems with self-control and decision-making that affect every aspect of our lives.
So how can we overcome our impulsivity and learn to resist instant gratification?
The key is understanding better why we are driven towards immediate fulfillment and what motivates us to seek instant rewards. By gaining this awareness, we can change how we approach the world around us, rank our goals, and make healthier decisions to pursue long-term happiness.
How to Combat Impulsive Behavior
Many strategies can help you overcome impulsive behavior and resist the urge to give instant gratification. One critical approach is to start tracking your impulses, so you can gain a better understanding of what drives them.
You may want to keep a journal or log where you record when and why you experience an impulse and any thoughts or feelings that arise during these moments.
Another helpful technique is called “breathing space.” This involves taking a few minutes to pause and focus on your breathing whenever you feel an urge toward instant gratification.
By making space for this awareness, you can learn to recognize different types of impulses and their triggers, which will help you make better decisions.
Why We Should Resist Instant Gratification
Learning to resist instant gratification is about more than improving your self-control. It’s about making choices that will lead to long-term happiness and fulfillment rather than satisfying short-term impulses.
Some potential benefits of resisting instant gratification include increased productivity, better decision-making skills, improved relationships, and greater well-being.
When we learn to prioritize our goals and focus on what matters to us — working towards a promotion at work or spending more time with loved ones — we can achieve much more over time.
So if you’re struggling with impulsive behavior or constantly seeking instant gratification, remember that this is not an obstacle you must face alone.
With the right strategies and support, you can learn how to overcome your impulsivity and resist the pull of instant gratification so that you can live a happier and more fulfilling life.
In conclusion, impulsive behavior and the desire for instant gratification can affect many aspects of our lives, from personal relationships to professional goals.
But, we can improve our decision-making skills and long-term well-being over short-term rewards by learning to recognize and manage these impulses.
With the right strategies and support, we can overcome impulsive behavior and achieve greater happiness and fulfillment over time.
© Alejandro Betancourt, 2022. All Rights Reserved.
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