Choose Deferred Pleasure
Kristin wanted some very expensive makeup. It was like butter to apply and very healthy for her face. It had no chemicals and, as she got older, her wrinkles were showing more every day. Kristin wanted to look younger. A neighbor started selling the makeup and talked her into buying the whole line of skin care. She spent seven hundred and twenty dollars set aside for rent. She loved the skin care. It made Kristin look and feel younger. She received compliments on her looks.
Spending rent money on makeup, made her behind I n her rent. Kristin didn’t know what to do. She wondered if it was foolish of her to spend so much money that she didn’t have, but she wanted it. Her best friend said that she was impractical.
“Self-respect is the fruit of discipline; the sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself.”
― Abraham J. Heschel
People often want what they want and they want it now. Putting off something you have desired for a long time is difficult. You may not have had a plan to get what you desired and that may be why you didn’t think that you could wait. You believed that you would never get it.
You may have lost your job or had an accident and needed to lower your standard of living. You were required to give up things that were once possible.
Often, there is just so much money. If you spend it on one thing, it isn’t there for another. Making the decision about how you spend your money is difficult. Prioritizing based on the practical choice is not easy. There are always opportunities to forgo the practical, but it comes back to haunt you. When you make an impractical choice, you suffer the consequences that go with that choice.
Let’s say, for example, that you look at new furniture and drool over it. You dream about it. This is your burning desire. You don’t have enough money to pay for new furniture outright and not quite enough for the payment each month. You buy it anyway. Everything goes well for a couple of months and then you find out that you can’t meet all your bills. You can cut down on food and drive only to work, saving gas, and not go out every Friday night as you always did, or you can spend as usual and hope for the best. This catches up with you and you may end up with no car, no home for your furniture, and you may have no family. You made your choice. You got the furniture that you wanted, but you paid a high price for it.
“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
― Abraham Lincoln
Let’s consider another example. You dream about new furniture that you can’t afford, and you don’t buy it. You take your lunch and you save the extra money. You go on an inexpensive vacation and you save the extra money. You don’t go to expensive restaurants and you stay home Friday nights and you save the extra money. You enjoy a night out, but you play miniature golf and go to the dollar movie theater and you save the extra money. You collect all your spare change and you save the extra money. Two years later, you have the money to buy new furniture. You meet your monthly bills and go back to your earlier standard of living or begin saving for something else.
You learned to save for something important. You appreciated the furniture much more because you sacrificed for it. When you defer gratification, wanting something, but waiting, it shows that you are a mature person. Keeping the goal in mind encourages you to go without.
What if you promise someone that you will pay him or her by a certain date? Do you spend the money on something else and say, “I’ll pay them next week. I want those golf clubs today. I’ll keep my promise later, and the clubs are on sale and aren’t that much money. Everything will work out.”
Maybe you promise someone that you will help her move. The day comes and it’s beautiful weather. Your neighbor suggests that you go out on their nice new boat for the day. Do you go boating or do you help someone move? It’s your choice. It’s your word.
Do you rationalize and say to yourself, “They’ll have enough help; they don’t need me; in fact, I doubt they’ll even miss me”?
“The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dares to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.” ― Marian Anderson
Going without something that you want, that you can’t afford or not giving in to your impulses is a sign of maturity. You put aside your desires because you have the integrity and growth to wait.
If you can’t defer gratification, you let others down. You let yourself down. If you have chosen to sacrifice, to remain practical when, inside, you wanted that certain something, then pat yourself on the back. Congratulate yourself. It isn’t easy to do the right thing. It takes maturity.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Have you ever spent money foolishly?
Did you learn anything from it?
Are you able to put aside your desires for a more practical choice?
Do you want to?
What is your plan to get what you want, even when it means waiting?
[box type=”bio”] Betty Eddy is a published author and member of the Netiv community. Her work as a life coach has given her unique insight into self help. In her book “Untying the Knots of Life” she deals with concepts which guides the reader though self discovery. [/box]