Delayed gratification： delayed gratification is the ability to postpone an immediate gain in favor of greater and later reward. （延迟满足，延迟犒赏、延迟享乐）
中文释义：延迟满足是指一种甘愿为更有价值的长远结果而放弃即时满足的抉择取向， 以及在等待期中展示的自我控制能力。它的发展既有先天发育和后天营养的补给，也是个体掌控内心冲动和欲望、完成各种任务、 协调人际关系、 成功适应自然的必要条件。
Your prefrontal cortex is the biological seat of your conscious interactions with the world. It’s the part of your brain central to thinking things through, instead of being on “autopilot” as you go about your life.
仿写：..is the…It’s…, instead of…
前额叶外皮是你意识与世界相互作用的”生物驾座”。它是你大脑中负责思考事情的核心部分，让你不处于”自动驾驶”状态。——选自Your Brain at Work
由于最近时间较忙，由于素材的原因，一直没有时间将这个话题拓展讨论。浮生偷得半日闲，今天正好找到了素材，准备与微信群友重点讨论大脑前额叶所控制的一个key function: Delayed Gratification. 我将通过目前社会上发生的一些现状以及我个人多年的观察与实践来谈谈这个“delayed gratification”对于我们的重要性。要讨论这个“延迟满足”还得从棉花糖实验说起，于是我将这个实验的素材也一并附在了下方。
The importance of building in delayed gratification and getting rid of instant pleasure
With the rat race raging on Tiktok, Xiaohongshu, Wechat video account, and platforms as such, Vloggers have been pulling out all stops to create instant pleasure, following an agenda of gaining substantial traffic, they have been taking advantage of cheap CGI effects to pull a stunt, fabricating juicy anecdotes to attract mass attention, generating pulp videos to arouse primitive male desire…the list goes on. The whole social meida platform is filled with such instant gratifications, catering the need of the “lying dead”.
Aside from the current prevailing short video platforms, we also witnessed a great deal of distortion and corruption in art and literature, such as the perverted solicitation conducted by Li Yifeng, and the quite unseemingly poem created by Jia Qianqian… it seems to me that we’re all trapped in a world where delayed gratification is so rare that the great majority had been deprived of getting access to supreme spiritual enjoyment, now all they want is to lie flat, get instant pleasure, and if worse comes to worse, entertain to death.
To my way of thinking, the identification and cognition of Delayed gratification are of paramount importance, especially when it comes to breaking through a bottleneck or climbing up the social ladder, Whether we admit it or not, we simply can’t expect the government officials to regulate this form of moral decay, considering that they need the majority of grassroots now more than ever to underpin their ramshackle pyramid, and we can’t expect those behemoth platforms take actions against it, as a matter of fact, they’re happy to satisfy its user’s appetite so long as the vloggers don’t break the law or cause them trouble.
Here I would like to share with you some of my hands-on experiences that yield profits by proper employing delayed gratification：
- Constantly creating valuable content to end-users regardless of being pushed flow or recommended by the platform or not.
- Continuing to exercise my brain so as to make it more adaptable to the western way of thinking and practice verbal dexterity with like-minded people even though it is quite a lengthy and demanding process.
- Saying no to meaningless social activities, which empowered me to have sufficient time to develop a new project.
Below are major behaviors that I sorted out from various English learners that I happen to encounter during my practice of serving as a webmaster and group funder, from whom their behaviors are in stark contrast with the above-mentioned ones:
- Surfing aimlessly across different platforms, scrolling scattered short videos to satisfy their perfunctory aspiration.
- Joining a plethora of free-of-charge WeChat groups in hopes that they can get valuable content and inspirational ideas.
- Behaving like “叶公”, never take a closer look or take a deep dive into the field that interested them the most.
Enhancing the cognition of delayed gratification, especially when we now have access to everything instantaneously via smart devices, will help us inhibit our impulses, better still, enable us to raise our children properly.
Delayed gratification is the key to success, once you hold on to it, the world is your oyster!
It is common to expect most things quickly today. While that is valuable on occasions, most times, it can lead to impatience or disappointment if you don’t get what you expect.
As you build in delayed gratification into your daily experiences, you will experience a shift in your expectations.
The prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays a central role in cognitive control functions, and dopamine[‘dəʊpəmiːn （多巴胺）] in the PFC modulates [‘mɒdjuleɪt（调节） ] cognitive control, thereby influencing attention, impulse inhibition [ˌɪnhɪ’bɪʃn （冲动约束/抑制）] , prospective memory（前瞻记忆：引发本能的条件反射）, and cognitive flexibility（认知灵活性）.
What is Delayed Gratification?
It is the ability to hold off your urge for a quick or immediate reward, to receive a better one later. It’s resisting the desire for something now, to get something of a high-perceived value in the future.
How well you control your impulses will determine the advantage you gain later.
Dealing with delayed gratification is about training yourself to resist the temptation of a quick win or a short-term emotional high, for a long-term win and greater satisfaction.
Examples of Delayed Gratification
There are many opportunities daily to take advantage of delayed gratification. These can include:
- Continuing to stick to an exercise and meal plan even though results are slow.
- Not buying something today and investing that money towards a bigger goal.
- Avoiding distractions such as television or social media to focus on a project.
- Saying no to social activities so you have time to develop a new skill.
Knowing what your priorities are will make it easier to use delayed gratification the right way.
When I started creating new weekly content a few years ago, there was no traffic to my site. Even though initially no one was reading my content, I knew the payoff would come if I stayed consistent.
As I added more original content, the traffic to my site increased. First, it was a handful of visitors per month, then it became a hundred, then two hundred, then a few hundred. Now, several years later, I am getting thousands of visitors per month to my site.
This is because I understood the power of delayed gratification and stayed persistent with what I wanted to achieve. Had I looked at the traffic initially and decided it was not worth it, I would not be experiencing the rewards now.
5 Reasons Why Delayed Gratification Will Improve Your Life
It takes commitment to resist immediate satisfaction and focus on delayed gratification. Here are five reasons why delayed gratification will improve your life, which means you will achieve better outcomes over the long term.
- You will develop more patience. Having an impulse response is often associated with impatience or frustration. As you practice delayed gratification, you will train yourself to resist immediate satisfaction and remain patient, while working towards a better reward.
- You will have greater clarity. Knowing what you want will make it easier to focus on what will get you there. Greater clarity will also help you eliminate distractions and stay committed to what you want.
- You will make better decisions. When you know the importance of delayed gratification, you will give more thought to the consequences of your daily choices. As the quality of your life is determined by your decisions, you will improve your decision-making ability.
- You will become more persistent. Delayed gratification implies receiving something later instead of now. This will require you to be long-term focused, which means you will have to be persistent to keep going to get what you want. As you develop persistence, your self-confidence and your level of commitment will also improve.
- You will develop new habits. Most people are in the habit of going for a quick win and settling for a short-term gain. Practicing delayed gratification means you are training yourself to control your impulses better. This will require you to change existing habits and adopt new ones to stay on track.
Things You Can Do to Control Your Impulses
To successfully adopt delayed gratification, you have to learn to control your impulses. Things that will help you with that include:
- Have an accountability partner or coach.
- Eliminate known temptations that can derail you.
- Have clear goals and plans to achieve them.
- Identify challenges or risks and have strategies to deal with them.
- Create milestones and reward yourself appropriately when you reach them.
You can practice delayed gratification anytime. If you do, you will train yourself to rise above short-term gains and focus on bigger wins. The benefits you will gain will continue to improve your life.
If you don’t focus on delayed gratification, your short-term wins will feel empty quickly. You are more likely to experience regret, which means you won’t achieve the things you really want, when you want.
Action Step: Practice controlling your impulses by focusing on long-term benefits when you are choosing what to do. Pick one area of your life, such as health, and focus on getting a bigger reward later, instead of a smaller reward now.
Question: What are other reasons why delayed gratification will improve your life?