Delayed Gratification Can Lead to Elimination

My son loves Lego. Actually, four of my kids do. I’m sure the fifth one will too when she is old enough to care. My son loves Batman as well. It’s his favourite of all the superheroes. So, when he saw a Batman Lego set that he didn’t have and almost could afford, he got really excited. He needed it. We were in Kmart at the time and he kept popping over to where we were to tell us about how cool it was. He has his own spending money, but he didn’t quite have enough. He expected us to pay for it, but we refused. Suddenly his countenance changed. The excitement disappeared and he started mumbling out from his quivering bottom lip. He was having a meltdown and I thought we might not be able to get him out of the store. Eventually, we got home, but the rest of the day was rough.
Fast forward one week. We were shopping at another store for our other boy. He needed some flip flops. Well, our son found the same Lego Batman set he wanted, but it was $6 cheaper. He still didn’t quite have enough of his money, but we decided to pay the rest this time. We thought it was a great example of delayed gratification. He was a happy camper that day.
Delayed gratification is underated in my books. It’s not that we should not do what we want when we want. But we should realise that giving in to some desires is not good for us. When we are dealing with our desires, we aren’t usually making rational decisions. A desire is something that is inherently emotional to begin with. So, if we give into that desire without considering the big picture, then it can be disastrous. The little things matter. If we give in to one thing, then we will compromise somewhere else as well. Those desires can be a controlling factor in our lives. Just take a look at those zombies who line up for coffee in the morning. They may have enjoyed their first few shots of the drug, but now they can’t function properly without their morning hit. I believe we should pursue our passions wholeheartedly. However, that does not mean we should have it unbridled, neigh (that is a horse sound). If it is starting to control us where we cannot function without having that thing, then it has gone too far. We have to line it up and make sure it fits well into our big picture.
I had written a biased and unfair review of the Apple iPhone X. Most people need to get their iPhone toy straight after it comes out. There are a few issues with this:
1st Generation Issues
Often the first generation of a product has major issues. The subsequent generations usually get these issues sorted out. So, the first version becomes obsolete, but you have paid a premium for a flawed device.
We used to sell software and when we launched it, it was far from the finished product. We had people coming back to us and asking us to sort out our junk. It wasn’t because we were evil. The software would never be perfected until we had a wide range of people using it in different conditions.
Higher Price
Usually you will pay a higher price at the launch of a technology product. The price often comes down after a few months. That’s because hysteria of a new product subsides, technology moves on or people find a new shiny object.
As shown above the first generation usually has issues. So, if you wait, not only will you get a better product, but also at a better price. It’s usually true with technology and depreciating assets, but not always the case. Our first versions of our software were very cheap. We would raise the price after the launch. The people who got in first might of had to deal with some issues (sometimes too many), but they got the best price. In the end though they may have wasted their time on the issues, so I doubt if it was worth it.
But, this is the best one. You might find that if you delay long enough, you won’t actually want what you initially wanted. Huh? Yep. When we got married, my wife wanted this particular model and colour of car. I asked if she could wait. She did. A few years later she remembered she wanted this car after she saw it driving by. She said she was glad she didn’t buy it. Now she thought that it looked ugly and was not practical for us.
Think of how much money you could save. The problem with most of us is that we give in to our desires. They actually become habits and really bad ones. If you can trick yourself into delaying outworking that desire, you actually start to control it. If you can do it for long enough, you can actually kick the habit and eventually you don’t have that desire anymore. I gave the example with the iPhoneX, that if you can wait for 1 year, the next version will probably be out and you would have saved yourself at least 1K. Think of all the areas where you are giving in to your desires. If you can control them, you might find yourself saving money all over the place.


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