On Instant Gratification


In the famous marshmallow experiment, children who were able to wait longer for a preferred reward were found to fare better in life.

I have been wondering for the last few days, if we have taken this “waiting patiently to enjoy the fruits of our labor later” too far.

Right from the time we start schooling, we are taught to work hard towards securing the highest marks. We are persuaded to clear one exam after another in hopes of a better future. This continues in college where we work towards standing out so that we are “set” for life. Now, there are times when I have really enjoyed studying something, but not always and not everything.

Later in life, most of us pick jobs that require us to work 12 hours every day and sometimes on weekends also. We are rewarded with money, but money is just a currency, a means to something and not an end in itself. We go on accumulating money postponing living life we want to live for later. We pass our 30s, 40s, 50s before we are forced to slow down. What happened to the 4 hour work day that Keynes had predicted in 1930?

But, do we get fulfilment even in these later years? Running after things and accumulating becomes a way of life. Is it possible to switch to different mindset after all those years..