Gratification vs instant gratification

Webster defines gratification as  a source of satisfaction or pleasure.  The problem with instant gratification is that it doesn’t last.

This has been a source of conversation lately.  I seem to dwell in instant gratification, and when the source of satisfaction is gone I immediately seek another.  I become dependent on that next one… and then I feel guilty… a viscous cycle.

I was talking to a friend, and we discussed the marshmallow experiment.  The researchers gave preschoolers a single marshmallow.  They could eat it now, or wait 15 minutes and have two.  I would have eaten the stupid marshmallow… I probably would have bribed my friends for theirs too.

30% of the children waited.  They followed up with those kids years later. Turns out they employed coping skills to avoid eating the marshmallows… teaching themselves delayed gratification!

Apparently these coping skills can be learned at any age!!! SCORE!!!!

Today I employed a bit of distraction.  I ate a plain salad at a gorgeous restaurant… so instead of whining about what I couldn’t have… I paid attention to my friend and our surroundings!

I can be taught!

My salad may have been simple, but it wasn’t the star of the show.  I spent a day strolling through San Francisco with a great friend.  We had lunch at Neiman Marcus Rotundra, walked to Fisherman’s Wharf, saw stunning views of the bay, took a cab to the TransAmerica building, and spent a day laughing and moving.

I am grateful to have had this day. This kind of gratification will last much longer… and doesn’t leave me feeling guilty!

Pictures are my salad and the Rotunda stain glass ceiling from lunch and the TransAmerica building

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