“I worked for it, I deserve a treat, not tomorrow or the day after, today.” That treat could be anything from indulging in a movie or a good book, buying yourself a milkshake, an exotic meal, a pair of heels, a dress, heck even a car. It just depends on the amount of time you have, the depth and weight of your pocket at that time and your what the inner voice in your head is saying. But the fact remains that in most cases, we want an instant reward to an action we’ve performed exceptionally. And it’s okay, it’s human.
I remember when we were in pre-school and our parents would motivate us to perform better in school with a promise of something we desired. You want to go to go play outside with your friends during the holiday? Complete all your assignments first. You want a bicycle? Become top 5 in class. And it was a given, that when you perform as agreed, and you present it to them, as soon as the sun is rising the following morning, you can start claiming the well-deserved promise and hopefully at the end of the day, you’ll be that overjoyed child riding your new bicycle around the house, around the estate and if possible, sleep with it by your side.
Gratification whether instant or delayed, is not a new concept. It’s a habit that we’ve picked up over the years, only that as we grow and become entirely independent human beings, we take it to the next level. It becomes influenced by our lifestyles. It isn’t about rewarding your exceptional performance anymore, but because you can or because Y.O.L.O (you only live once) or because your friend has done that and you’re not one to be left behind.
But where do we draw the line on what is the ideal form of gratification for you, based on the stage of life you are in? Because the thing with this gratification, is that the mechanics around it can be complicated, especially when other people are involved in the decision making processes. To you, it might be unnecessary for that period of your life, but to your friend, colleague or family member, it’s otherwise.
While in essence, whatever you achieve in some cases actually needed to be achieved. You could have gone out of your way to make something happen, but it was your responsibility. Also, not all achievements need to be rewarded, at least not at that instant. Some achievements are part of your advancement, and the moment we learn that, then delayed gratification makes more sense. That eventually all the pieces of achievement will add up and the reward could be grander.
So don’t fret when you’re not acknowledged by your family or buddies for performing a huge task, or at work when you don’t get rewarded for completing that huge project, and life moves on like nothing just happened. Don’t let yourself feel like you need to live up to a particular lifestyle because your peers are doing it or because it’s expected of you. Or that when you get some little money, you need to just splurge on something to make you feel like you earned it. Well you did, you don’t have to prove it. You could alternatively take that well deserved break; sleep extra, do a movie marathon, eat a killer meal, go for a drink and so on.
Continue putting your best foot forward even when you feel like, ‘this is it’, remember that the world forgets the moment it’s done. Yes, you worked for it, you definitely deserve that treat, but first ask yourself, whether it’s something you want now, or something you want most, and you can wait for later. If you want it most, you will plan for it, and work towards it. And when you get it, it will be worth the while.
Signing Off ~~~ *Kawi*