The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies conducted by psychologist Walter Mischel in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In these studies, a child had to choose between receiving a small reward immediately or two small rewards if they waited for a short period, during which the tester left the room and then returned.
Pretty much a study on delayed gratification.
Do you want it now, or are you willing to suffer and wait for it?
The results are interesting, to say the least. Those who delayed gratification scored significantly higher in every area of human competency imaginable. Higher SATs, higher income, better lives.
Pleasure-seeking or being happiness-oriented?
Which one do you choose?
Do you want moderate enjoyment or fulfillment?
Genuine satisfaction or the illusion of it?
How do you think people usually go through life?
Being able to delay gratification is one of the most crucial aspects of success. The ability to not get sidetracked by temptations, to know your priorities, to know what you want and be able to wait for it.
To trust the outcome.
Carpe diem is a terrible motto. This sentence is written by someone who has it tattooed on his arm.
Why, you ask?
Well, because hedonists tend to be emotional crybabies. Pleasure seeking is only as good as receiving constant stimulus. Which, in turn, makes the brain over-active. Which, also, means that you need to be stimulated more and more as time goes on.
You’re watching TV, and then you’re not.
You’re making love, and then you’re not.
You’re eating that chocolate, and then you’re not.
And when you’re not, it doesn’t feel good. At all. You feel out-of-balance, and there’s no purpose for you too feel that way.
Your goal is to feel pleasure; when you cannot, there’s no reason for that.
On the other hand, someone who delays gratification for a certain reason has to develop the tools to endure those moments of frustration, the moments of lack, when there’s no pleasure to be found.
Simply put, suffering is inevitable. It is also necessary to offer it a meaning, to tied it to a higher purpose, a goal, a dream.
Otherwise, suffering becomes unbearable.
If you always want to do what’s easy, your life will be hard. If you do what’s hard, your live will be easy.