How are you this week? I confess that I’ve written this a bit early because it’s set to post on April 30th, and that is our income tax deadline here in Canada. That means that in my “day business” of accounting, I will either be swamped leading up to the 30th or I will have miraculously finished all of my work early and be taking some well-deserved ME time. LOL
This week, your ingredient is: Gratification
Why would I choose to talk about gratification this week? Well, as of May 1st, I will have survived another busy tax season. I’ve worked hard and done the best I could, and that in my world gives me a sense of gratification at a job well done.
We live in a world where people seem to want everything to happen right away and exactly as they desire. We have a Keurig coffee maker and the other morning I found myself getting impatient at how long it was taking to brew my lovely, fresh, flavoured, aromatic cup of coffee. Made me laugh at myself when I thought of brewing a full pot, messing with filters and coffee grounds, waiting several minutes for that to happen, then throwing out half of it because I couldn’t drink it all myself. LOL And even that alternative was much easier than having to pick the beans, roast them, grind them, and boil them in order to enjoy a cup of coffee. See what I’m saying? We want it exactly how we want it and we want it right now!
It’s all about instant gratification. Which is interesting if you think about it. Have you ever had to work toward a goal? Save for something you dreamed of? Wait for things to come together in just the right way? There’s a sense of anticipation and accomplishment as you see your dream getting closer. And isn’t that what makes the gratification so satisfying? When you have the thing you’ve imagined it feels SO good!
I was speaking with a friend yesterday about how the world seems to have changed so much in really just a couple of generations. When I was young, people still gardened and canned and baked and sewed and built and created things. These are things that seem odd or at least unusual now. And yet, people have done those things for as long as there have been people. Now, we just run to the store and get whatever we want. We can even get fresh fruit and vegetables in the middle of winter. And by driving up to a magical window and talking into a speaker, we can have a meal in front of us in just minutes!
It makes me wonder sometimes if this way of living is sustainable and what cost is attached to whatever this need we have developed might be. It’s certainly not as easy to break up the soil, plant a seed and nurture the plant until it bears fruits and it definitely takes a lot longer than running to the grocery store and buying something that was picked before it was ready and spent 3 days on a truck to get there. But how satisfying is it to pull a beautiful ripe tomato off the plant that you’ve nurtured? How much better does it taste having put in the time and effort yourself?
Now, let me challenge you. If you have never enjoyed the sense of anticipation that comes from working toward something, I’m going to ask you to do just that. Do something that requires you to put out an effort – build something, bake something, save up for something you desire rather than borrowing the money in order to get it right away. And when you’ve met your target and whatever you’re doing is yours, see if that gratification isn’t sweeter than the kind that comes from getting whatever you want whenever you want. And if it does, would you be willing to ask for more of that to show up in your world?
What if the effort required is what actually creates the gratification? Something to consider.
What do you choose?