3.10.2020

My Thoughts on Delayed Gratification

I have the tendency to believe that a lot of things in life are a constant waiting game. We are always after something in the future, a proposed goal or ambition, and we are counting down the days until we get there. I know I get very psycho-analytical on my blog—a bit deep at times—and am in no way an expert on our human-like tendencies, but just from what I know and feel, there's something about this waiting "game" that has resonated with my current situation so much. 

Whether it be sending out pitch emails, applying for an internship, or even ordering cupcakes at 10 o'clock at night, I feel like there's always something to be wanted, awarded, or desired and we are just too insistent on getting that cupcake ASAP. 

My amateur knowledge of psychology and what I have learned about delayed gratification is that an individual resists the temptation of immediacy and the "I want it now!" Veruca Salt mentality. The selfish greed in all of us wanting to know the unknown, I mean everyone hates not knowing, right? I've had many instances where I've found patience a virtue and I'd like to say that I have become a pretty patient person, but sometimes that patience turns into obsession and, as a result, inexhaustible self-doubt. 
I think many could agree that life is just a waiting game. We are all going after our ambitions, applying ourselves, testing the waters, taking our shot, in hopes of finding something bigger and better—and something as delicious as a 10 o'clock red velvet cupcake. At times, I've found myself dreading over exam grades, scholarships, and getting accepted into my number one college. It made me the most persistently annoying human being during high school because my future, as I believed, was determined by this one "congratulations" email I so desperately yearned for my entire senior year, only to find out I got a scholarship a week after my graduation of high school.

I have the tendency to resort to self-doubt, and therefore lose all the agency I had when I applied myself to these things in the first place; whether it be an internship, job, or study abroad program. It's so easy for us to give something our all and then when we don't get a response within a week, we slowly start to chip away at the fine marble that is our ambition, our passion, and everything we worked ourselves up to be. 

There is truth to the delay of the reward, and that is not only a huge feeling of relief but also a sense of greater significance. We seem to forget how much work we put into these things when the suspension isn't built or we don't recognize this sensation of gratitude that should arise from it. 
I've grown an appreciation for these opportunities to reflect, and as I wonder where these opportunities will take me, I find myself more present and focused on what I'm currently doing, rather than dwelling on whether or not I'm going to make it in the end. I'm more in tune with my passions this way, and to cultivate a sense of gratitude for these aspirations that await for us, who knows what could happen, so why wait?

I just find life so much more bearable when we commit fully to the things we aspire to most and move on from wondering for a second why we might not be capable of achieving these things. Whether you find out tomorrow, next week, or a month from now, that cupcake is going to taste so good later knowing you were right where you needed to be.  

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