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Instant Vs. Delayed Gratification (A Constant Fracas inside our Minds)

Live your life to the fullest, maybe there's no tomorrow. This is the life advice everyone gives.

What's wrong with this popular idea? It's possible that there's no tomorrow, we humans are mortal beings. One can die at any point of time, even a peanut stuck in your throat can send you to heaven

(or hell).

Then it makes sense to do whatever you wanna do in your life in the present moment. It does a plethora of things, It gives you some kind of control over your life. You don't have to plan for very long which obviously saves time, in this saved span of time you can indulge in activities you really love which is good for your physical and mental well being. And most importantly you got to have the fun. Which we seek the most unless you're a monk.

But this whole idea is based on the perspective of an individual. One who is a little bit self-centered or a narcissist. For someone who works hard for the greater good. Who wants to do something for his nation, society, community or even for his family, this philosophy of life can never be fully right.

Imagine if Thomas Edison were a follower of this school of thinking. then he didn't have to fail for a thousand times. When he was asked that how did it feel to fail a thousand times he simply replied, "I didn't fail for thousand times, light bulb was an invention with a thousand steps."

There was no instant gratification. If he were to seek the same, things could have gone south for him as well as for the whole mankind.

So it can be concluded that if you want to do something significant then you've to think for the long term.

Now this fracas really starts inside our head, one voice says you're here to do something noteworthy, you've to leave your mark on the world while the other says whatever you wanna do in life do it now, who has seen the future. This is similar to the idea of shoulder angels and demons from the book, 'The Shepherd of Hermas.' Except in this case the Shepherd doesn't know which one is the angel and which is the demon.

Now one could argue that what if we strike balance between the two. But this situation is not so black and white. How you can judge to what extent you can go with one or the other.

You can choose to set the long term goal but in order to do so, you have to sacrifice the instant gratification and the spectacular and stupendous present with it.


In this world full of temptations how can you choose to do the right thing when there's no right or wrong?

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