Some immediate happiness or instant gratification is easy to see, such as: eating more food when we’re not hungry, but we’re working on a goal to lose weight; staying in bed instead of getting up to study the scriptures as we had planned; or watching a movie instead of working on a project we’re stuck on, but we want to get done.
Other instant gratification is trickier to see, such as: yelling at our kids instead of taking a breath and waiting until we’re calm to talk to them; gossiping about someone instead of staying silent or deciding to focus on the positive; or believing all of the thoughts that come to our brain instead of sifting through and deciding what we want to believe on purpose.
Long-term happiness or delayed gratification looks just the opposite. It’s not just doing what feels good and easy right now. It’s how we achieve our goals. It’s doing what might be hard and uncomfortable right now so that we can have it easier or better in the future.
Let’s not tell ourselves that we’re lazy or have something morally wrong with us when we choose immediate happiness over long-term happiness.
Remember we all have a lower human brain whose job it is to seek pleasure, avoid pain, and expend the least amount of energy possible. We also have a higher human brain whose job it is to delay pleasure and gratification for a more desirable result, lean into uncomfortable emotions and pain, and expend whatever energy is necessary to get what we really want.
There’s nothing wrong with us when we do what’s easy now instead of what’s hard. We’re just listening and following our lower brain instead of our higher brain. It’s totally fine. Let’s just like our reason, and make the decision consciously of whether to go for the immediate gratification or delayed gratification.
P.S. If you like these posts and are interested in getting some more personal help with your struggles or seeing your amazingness. I’d love for you to sign-up for a free coaching session. You don’t have to come prepared or have anything necessarily to say. I will ask you questions and guide you the whole time. I’d love to meet you!