There are two types of people in this world, those who seek instant gratification versus those who seek delayed gratification. In a more general perspective, we humans would “like” to behave in one manner, but instead “choose” to behave in another. In particular, we tend to pursue immediate gratification in a way that we ourselves do not appreciate in the long run. This concept ties fairly well into the somewhat linear relationship between hard work and success.
For example, suppose high school student #1 spends 3 of his or her 4 summers at a SAT boot camp whereas student #2 uses all 4 f his or her summers traveling to exciting and exotic locations across the globe. Student #2 “chose” to pursue the immediate gratification of touring the world as a high school student. Student #1, on the Other hand, delays gratification and sacrifices time for a higher SAT score in hopes that a prestigious college will accept him or her into their highly acclaimed program.
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Note that the words “like” and “choose” are “placed between quotations”. From a third person perspective, the choice to “choose” instant gratification (as student #2 did) versus the choice to “choose” delayed gratification (as dent #1 did) appears to be a complete conscious choice, but only holds partial merit; the choice is a semiconscious driven. Moreover, this semiconscious choice for instant versus delayed gratification depends on the type of decision, or more specifically the timing of the benefit and the cost of the activity.
An individual with a preference towards instant gratification will choose activities with immediate benefit and delayed cost (such as over- eating) over activities with delayed rewards and immediate cost (such as preparing for the SAT exam). This choice is considered a semiconscious choice in that we consciously wish to act in one manner, but instead unconsciously behave in another.
By what force does this occur? The essential differentiating factor between these two extremes is self-control. A lack of self-control is central to – how much we (under) save, how much we (over) eat, and whether we finish tasks punctually or procrastinate. Moral of the story: don’t be like me and wait till Weed- to begin writing. Procrastination is to me as hubris is to Oedipus; it’s my fatal character flaw