We live in a society where everyone needs everything, now.
Although, this isn't the norm for everyone, it is slowly seeping into the majority of today's culture.
It's hard to get away from it.
Short cuts, hacks and instant results.
Social media, smart phones and a rise in AI technology have been the key to this change.
A change which has seen the way people make money, earn a living, and create businesses.
Some people are now making money whilst sitting in their pyjamas, not having “worked” a day in their lives.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them but I raise the following concerns because I feel this culture is detrimental to those hooked onto it.
You see, for those caught up in this instant gratification culture, it has eliminated the process of hard work.
These people expect things to happen straight away and give up when they don't.
Consequently, we’re seeing rising a number of depressive people. Many more souls lost. A great many without a mission. Or a mission to make a quick buck without having to put in the necessary work for it.
This cultural disease has left many with a warped view of work ethic, with some even looking down on those that adhere to it.
Here are a few passages from Prashanth, a new friend to Birth of Clarity and fellow Substack writer.
This excerpt is from his newsletter, The Lighthouse, where he discusses the importance of pursuing delayed gratification and how our brain reacts to instant gratification:
“[On not getting up early to meditate as planned] The rational brain convinces you that sleep is a much needed resource for your body. You can push meditation off for now. Irony is — the same brain kept you awake late into the night scrolling your Social Media feed on a loop. It could not Delay Gratification to go to sleep and wake up early to meditate.
Delayed gratification is when you embrace pain and hard work in the present for a better future. The future reward would be bigger and better in comparison to the immediate one if you would have foregone the pain.
Every time we seek gratification the brain releases small doses of Dopamine. Dopamine is also called the “seeking” or “wanting” chemical. The seeking effect causes the brain to seek more and puts us in an endless loop. The brain keeps wanting more without an end.
The human brain is an energy expensive organ. It consumes 20% of the body’s energy. To conserve energy it is always working on taking the optimal path to seeking pleasure. The easier it is to seek pleasure, the better it is for the brain as it expends lesser energy. Lesser effort, lesser energy.”
What Prashanth has outlined here is that our brain wants things instantly too. That's how it was designed.
And of course, there are several Million Dollar companies ready to exploit this fact.
Instant coffee, instant messaging, instant notifications.
Alexa play me this song, machine hoover my house, car drive me!
Tools, technology and teams dedicated to making our lives as easy and instant as possible.
Making our roles as human beings, almost worthless. Leaving us not really living at all.
Do not deprive yourself of the joy of seeing a project through - from its infancy to its maturity - with all its hurdles. Do not deprive yourself the satisfaction that comes from pouring all your strength and sweat - into building things from scratch.
Instead deprive yourself of having everything this instant. Deprive yourself of giving up and jumping onto the next project because the previous one threw a spanner in the works.
Your existence never came about instantly - you took 9 long months to make your journey into this world.
Like I said at the beginning, I am not against those who have achieved something quickly and are enjoying the fruits from their successes.
However, it reminds me of a story about a big lotto winner:
This guy won millions.
He was someone who'd never worked a day in his life. He'd boosted cars, exploited the country's benefits system and scammed his way through life.
He wanted everything handed to him, otherwise he took it himself.
Upon winning the lotto he got everything he wanted. Flashy cars, big house, girls, booze and drugs.
Within a few years the money was gone. He had spent it all. And without any work ethic, he went straight back to what he was doing before. No purpose, no drive, no desire to claw it all back.
Without learning the skills, having the hunger to build or the tenacity to work hard for something, so many could end up like that guy did. However, they may have hustled on the internet to get their millions, but they haven't built the foundations properly to withstand a little stormy weather.
Don't let instant gratification destroy your experience of really living and don't let it be a substitute for delayed gratification.
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Thank you to Prashanth for reading drafts of this essay.