Delayed Gratification At Its Best

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.”

― Brian Tracy

I’m probably one of the most impatient beings to ever exist in the world. I want things provided to me instantly, like having them late even just for a day is never an option. So far, the world was surprisingly able to tolerate this attitude, and so I’ve always been the spoiled brat supplied with all my demands. For 20 years I have lived this way – happy with how the world is quickly responding to each of my requests. Until I graduated from college and realized things will never be the same again.

Has someone told you “true learning starts when you leave school?” I think I’ve read this somewhere before. I thought this was just one of those clichés trying to tell you how life’s gonna be when you grow a little older. I didn’t expect it to be a brutally honest statement back then. Not until life started dealing with my impatience and lack of discipline.

Life has never been the same since I went out of school. I started to realize nothing worth having comes easy. Being the ambitious woman I grew to be, I encountered disappointment after disappointment, rejection after rejection, and saw the extent of how ironic life could be. It is for this reason I started questioning my dreams, the aspirations, and goals I have set for myself. Am I being too idealistic?

The events that happened after my first disappointment taught me about perfect timing. You cannot have things just when you want to. There is no shortcut to success and undergoing a training is crucial. When I started in my first job, I was telling myself, “Okay, I have no choice but to endure this for now.” I thought I’d just have to delay my gratification and start small until I acquire the experience I need to finally land in my dream job. Not long after, I found myself enjoying what I do – learning from superiors, meeting new people, and improving in my profession.

Things happened and I had to say goodbye to the company that taught me everything you have to learn in your first job – professionally, psychologically, and emotionally. I resigned and things fell into place. I thought this could be the perfect time to go back to my original plan. To chase after that dream I postponed a year ago. I’ll have it this time! I was sure of it and I already claimed the realization of what was once a delayed gratification.

This part is really when life seemed to be the greatest traitor I could ever meet. I flew back to the place where I’ve always wanted to be, where I always believed has all the things that can make me happy and help me become accomplished. Opportunities came knocking at my door and I welcomed them in with excitement and enthusiasm. Things were going well, until these chances suddenly turned into rejections I’ve never seen coming.

So close yet so far. Have you ever imagined yourself standing at the door of the room containing all your desires? Everything is there. You can clearly see yourself poised and dressed the way you’ve always wanted to be – successful and happy. The same room also presents a view of where you want to work, where you want to go after and the people you’d want to meet after work. To top it all of, at the corner you can also see the man of your dreams. Smiling at you so sweetly like you look totally nice or you did something really adorable. Heaven is it? You’d want to get in with all your might, if not for the cliff that stands before you.

Yes. I’m telling you life could be this rude. Sometimes it’ll let you see the things you want actually materialize, even allow you to touch and smell them, only to tell you it isn’t time yet! You have to delay your gratification. Why? Because you’re not yet ready for it. Like a low quality container, you can break effortlessly when the promise is poured on you.

I’m facing this very situation right now. I’ve been exposed to God’s promise and was allowed to relish it for a few weeks, only to be sent home once again. Heartbreaking it is. You have no idea how strange I felt when the plane was taking off from the ‘promise land’. “Gosh I’m really leaving again”, I told myself. But by God’s grace, I was feeling at peace as I was looking outside the window. Carefully observing how the aircraft I’m in suddenly flies to the dark sky. Until the city turns into a chunk of an island with all the lights that make it look merry. Then it all fades away, signifying my stability in the air.

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. As Patrick ‘The Starfish’ puts it, “If it’s not a happy ending, then it’s not yet the end.”

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