Delaying Gratification & The Power of Gratitude

Welcome to Chapter 27 of Dan Bennett - The Diary of a Bored Kid!

Welcome back to the weekly blog!

I hope everyone had a great week and is looking forward to a good week ahead!

I read a really interesting article yesterday by Mark Manson. I've mentioned him a few times in this blog. There are always those people who you come across in life and they humble you with how good they are. For instance, in this case, Authors, there have been a few authors I've stumbled across, where I have simply thought to myself, "Shit, this guy or gal is very good."

You see it in sports all the time, especially when I used to play at College, every now and then you'd come against a player and think to yourself; "You are too good to be playing at this level. You shouldn't be here."

Same with Athletes, there are always those athletes who are a step ahead of the rest, be that genetically different, outwork their opponents, whatever it is, there are always those who excel in what they do. The Christiano's and Lebrons of the world.

I think it is our job as mere mortals to not let yourself get down by comparing yourself to them, but instead, question yourself and how you can match them and get as near to that level as possible.

This blog, the content on my instagram, my growing podcast, the business I am building, there are ALWAYS going to be those who are lightyears ahead of me, it's my job to try and catch up. I'm never going to win that battle I know that, but it's the joy of the chase that I like. The joy of trying to be better and get better at what you do.

If you set that as a key value you can't ever really go wrong.

This touches on the article I read yesterday with Mark Manson and what he talked about was the Virtue of delayed gratification. Today I want to take that one step further, and add the virtue of delayed gratification & the power of gratitude.

Now, to be honest I'm not a huge fan of the word "Gratitude" I think it's been bastardized and Americanized, so it comes across as a generic and a little cheesy.

Throughout his article, Mark had discussed that throughout history and looking at the historical context of religions as a prime example, if you take all religions, one of the main themes that seems to be at the core of their foundation is this idea that "They each promote delayed gratification as one of the highest human virtues."

Mark goes on to talk about a famous experiment called the marshmallow experiment, where psychologists tested 100's of preschoolers ability to delay gratification when tested with eating 1 marshmallow now, or eating 2 marshmallows in 15 minutes time.

The study went on to prove that those children who were able to delay gratification for longer, went on to lead way more healthy, successful, happy lives, than the children who couldn't resist the urge and demolished the 1 marshmallow right then on the spot.

"Delayed gratification is when you skip the cake because you promised yourself to only have a dessert once a week. Delayed gratification is when you stop splurging on kitchenware so you can save up for your dream house. It’s when you deny having just that one cigarette now so you can stay on course to quitting and salvage your lungs." - Mark Manson

Today I want to talk about exactly this, with the addition of sprinkling some Gratitude glitter on there.

So... If you have a goal that you've set yourself, and your current destination is that you want to lose weight, grow up the corporate ladder, grow a social media platform, build a business, become a famous line dancer... Whatever it is.

I would bet there is a 99% chance that along that route you are going to be tested with many different types of perceived instant gratification. I can assure you, if you are on a diet and your Mum starts baking cookies, that's when the thought of cookies with some milk has never sounded so good.

When you want to get more sales for your job, so you can get that promotion, when you're tired at 6pm and want to go home and lay on the couch, the thought of 1 more call sounds brutal.

When you want to build a social media following so you can #influence and get #branddeals, there will be many days when your content idea tank is empty and you just think "nah I don't need to post today. I'll go take a nap instead."

These are all the times when delaying your gratification comes into the mix and you need to ask yourself the tough questions, of what do you actually want? At the time your emotions will be heavily making you feel like you want the cookie, that you want to go home, that you want to take the nap.

That's when you have to tell the little demon on the shoulder to shut up because that's not what we are doing anymore.

This year has thrown a bunch of challenges our way, for some, it's unemployment, for others they haven't seen their friends and family in a long time, for some its as simple as they haven't been able to go on vacation to their usual favorite hang out spots.

Life throws wrenches. You just have to be able to dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge them!

This is where you can start to sprinkle your little gratitude nuggets in...

I did a post on this on my instagram yesterday. It's tough when times are shit to think the world sucks, everything sucks, everyone sucks and that life all round blows. But the reality is, if you are born in the Western world, which I would imagine if you have stumbled across my little corner of the internet then I'd imagine you are, then I'd say in reality your problems are probably good problems to some.

"If everyone put their problems in a pile to compare, you'd very quickly go to pick yours back up."

The way I see it, if you’re fortunate to have some good people around you, some good food on your table, a bed to sleep in, some goals and a vision for what you want to accomplish, and on top of that you’re fortunate enough to have a team of people around you who are helping you to accomplish that. ⁣

Then I’d say you’re pretty damn lucky!⁣

Sprinkling some little gratitude chunklets into your life is a good way of realizing that the storm will pass, and that better days are coming!

So to wrap up the weekly blog post. Delay your gratification for what you actually want, often its not a self-control issue, it's an emotions issue, and often you just have to kick that little emotion demon in the dick and tell them what you actually want.

On top of that if you can be grateful for where you are, where you're going, and what and who you have around you. Then that's just the icing on the cake.

“You should be far more concerned with your current trajectory than with your current results." - James Clear

As always thank you for reading!


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