This is the Problem with Instant Gratification
Packages come to my house every day. Every single day either myself or one of the lads gets something delivered. I suppose that’s shopping in 2020 for you. One time I got fierce upset because a package I had ordered got delayed. There was absolutely nothing urgent in it, I just wanted my things now, not later.
Some companies give you your money back if your package takes longer than expected to arrive. In other words, you get rewarded if they fail to give you gratification as quickly as promised.
That’s one aspect of a mindset that has a wider grasp on society. This is the idea that I want what I want now, and I do not want to wait for it. It takes over every facet of life and often makes us miserable. I reckon it’s an offshoot of capitalism’s affect on our collective psyche.
For example, I want to be a bestselling writer. I Want to be that right now. But to get there I need to put in a lot of working years to make my writing good enough. However, my brain is wired, to a certain extent, to demand the desired outcome now. So sometimes, when I feel a bit low, the fact that I haven’t gotten gratification for that yet makes me even more upset.
The weirdest part about this phenomenon is that I’m completely aware of it. I know that it’s irrational and not helpful, but it’s often still difficult to shake the feeling. Just because we understand an issue doesn’t mean it goes away. If that were the case, sorting out mental health issues would be unbelievably straight forward.
The point is, society has warped our perspective on how quickly we deserve outcomes. A lot of the time we think we deserve things just because we want them. Without even doing an ounce of work, we feel entitled to that which we desire. If you didn’t know already, that’s not how things generally work.
There’s a lot to be said for the long-game. Working for something way off in the distance that you can’t really fathom will force you into being disciplined. It’ll allow you to become patient. It will also open you up to enjoying the nitty-gritty, the incremental improvements that build up over time.
I got angry because a package didn’t arrive on time. That’s because I’ve been conditioned into thinking that when I want something, I deserve it now. But sometimes that’s not true. Sometimes the thing you want most isn’t what you deserve, because you haven’t earned it. Social media, society etc. will have you believe otherwise, and that will make you angry more than you need to be, because we very often do not get what we want straight away.
The next time I order something and it takes ages to come, I’m gonna take that as some sort of sign that I do not yet deserve to receive it. The good things that you want will come as soon as they’re supposed to.
If you continue to believe that you deserve things the moment you want them, you’re gonna walk around with a lot of anger, and that’s not ideal at all.