The immediate fulfillment that follows an action/accomplishment.
If you haven’t already suffered from the desire to be instantly gratified by something, I’m sure you will someday. I have, and although I often hated to admit it, I don’t think there’s actually anything wrong with wanting to feel immediately fulfilled. However, as most successful people will tell you, they didn’t reap the rewards of their success overnight – It was a slow burn – It was a process that took years – It was the product of their failures. Let’s be honest, we’ve heard it all. So, I’m going to skip the life advice that I am so unqualified to give, and instead tell you the three reasons why I think our brains strive for the kind of gratification that doesn’t really exist.
- Social Media
It’s no secret that we live in an instant gratification society, and in many ways, social media is to blame. We see the success reels on Instagram, and so often find ourselves wishing that our life was panning out the same. We compare ourselves to those our age, and those younger than ourselves – The ones with their careers figured out – The ones who have found ‘the one.’ – The ones who have traveled to more countries than just the one. However, with comparison comes the blurring of lines. For one cannot live the life of another, nor experience success in the same way. Every story must always be different, even when we wish it to be exactly the same. So, yes social media enables us to put unrealistic time stamps on when we should achieve things in life, but ultimately, they are a product of what we create. Perhaps, if we were able to look past what we see online, we would be able to live in the tangible, yet no less scary, now.
2. It hurts to fail again … and again … and yet again!
Graduating university had seemed like a personal success – a big tick on the old life achievements list – until it actually happened. Now I find myself feeling quite the opposite. And although I know this is the case for so many others, I can’t help but wish that I wasn’t just one and the same. It hurts to fail, and it’s even worse when you’re not prepared for it.
3. Age doesn’t feel like just a number.
As I’ve gotten older, which for a twenty one year old means exceeding the teenage age bracket, I’ve found myself worrying about the things I am yet to achieve. When I was seventeen I planned to be a bestselling teenage author. When I was a child, I expected to be married by twenty five with my dream career in the bag. Now, as a single twenty something, I’ve found myself needing to apologise to my little self. Not only did I choose one of the most unrealistic, and often self-deprecating, dream careers, but I am also yet to achieve any of the greater things that I have previously set out to do. So, yes I’m young and healthy and privileged for so many reasons, including the amount of time I have ahead. However, age will never just feel like a number to me, and instant gratification is a concept I will probably never simply forget.
What are your thoughts on instant gratification?
Let me know in the comments …
I'm just an average teenager who spends too much time daydreaming. I also love reading and have a passion for creative writing which is why I am an aspiring author.