top of page
  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

How Delayed Gratification Can Help You

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

This is an article “How Delayed Gratification Can Help You” by Marc Primo

Remember that viral video about kids and some marshmallows? Each kid was given a single marshmallow which they could eat, and earn another one if they waited rather than grab it the moment the adult walked out the door. This video is perhaps the best demo on delayed gratification that can teach us how to save for rainy days!

The marshmallow experiment was initially conducted by ‘60s Stanford professor Walter Mischel to test the effects of delayed gratification in behavior. While some of the kids weren’t too patient and immediately ate their share of the sweet delights, those who waited got to enjoy another serving and were proven to be more productive adults as time went by.

Want to know more about how developing your tolerance for delayed gratification can help you in life? Read on.

Why you shouldn’t eat your marshmallow immediately

If you take a loan out to buy that awesome new VR set without even computing your monthly and annual payments, you can easily get yourself into a pit of debt. This can then either force you to sell some of your stuff to keep up with payments or acquire bad credit. In other words, you’ve eaten your marshmallows way too fast that you missed the chance to enjoy more of them.

It has been scientifically proven that adults who are disciplined with their finances enjoy more success later in life. Delayed gratification requires the proper management of what you have right now by controlling your impulses for bigger rewards in the future.

Plus, it also teaches us that being patient offers longer-lasting benefits, just as Mischel’s experiment with the kids eventually proved. Later on, it was found that those kids who went and ate the first marshmallow became more prone to substance abuse and obesity as adults.

Developing the ability to delay gratification takes a lot of emotional intelligence and the acknowledgement that we must first work hard before we really attain success. This is where making sound investments right now matters, and doing it with the right amount of discipline and practicality will eventually pay off with more handsome dividends.

How you can develop delayed gratification

Building better habits to delay gratification can always be a challenge if you don’t have the right mindset. Start by improving your money habits such as passing up on dinner invites or overpriced coffee which can quickly deplete your savings. Make healthier eating choices which, in the long run, can cut down on food costs and prevent illnesses that will quickly empty out your wallet.

Legendary comedian Jerry Seinfeld came up with one theory that can help you polish those good habits. The gist of the theory simply tells us to make good on what we do everyday by organizing everything from our schedule, to our budget, and going on a linear approach to achieve goals. Try improving your expertise so you can take on more side jobs. Doing just a little each day will send you on an upward curve that can increase wealth later on.

When you decide to reward yourself

Delayed gratification doesn’t mean you’ll have to skip on rewards when you deserve them. What it’s all about is being conscious of your spending habits and making sure that a portion of what you earn are tucked and saved for future needs.

Banks and lenders are not your enemies either. These institutions can offer you financial help to make things easier for you to save money, while being able to pay off necessary costs. Just think of loans as bargaining power when you really need it like how a kid would tell his adult that maybe he can eat half of his first marshmallow because he’s hungry and simply gain another half as a prize instead of a whole.

The secret to making delayed gratification work for you is mastering the art of bargaining with yourself and keeping your promises to achieve long-term goals. That way, you get to enjoy more of life’s sweet moments for longer!


bottom of page