The Beauty in Delayed Gratification

This topic is honestly something I am truly very invested in. In other words, I have taken a lot of time in shifting from my previous need or desire for “instant gratification” into this new long-term appreciation and patience for “delayed gratification”. As you can likely tell, this goes very hand-in-hand with a long-term type of mindset.

I will say, that I believe my generation, the millennial generation is the epiphany of desire and practically need instant gratification. I attribute a lot of this to social media–I mean with all the platforms we have, Instagram, Snapchat, IG and Snap stories, etc. we can always see what others are up to in that instant and hell, we will often post to these platforms ourselves with what we are doing exactly in that moment. I mean even I fucking do it, but not for personal reasons. Everything in this digital age and space is so instant that it has cultivated a mindset of less patience and discipline in this millennial generation. I’ll give a few examples of what I mean.As a college student in a very typical college environment, I have observed the way students my own age treat their priorities. I honestly will say that at least 90% of the student population at my university and probably a similar percentage at other universities, are thinking purely in the “now“. Thinking and making every decision on a short-term present logic. What will fulfill me in this moment? What will fill the void in the mean time? “This guy/girl is hot, I am just gonna sleep with him/her tonight because it’ll likely make me feel good and void some emptiness inside and I’ll move on with my life after.” The classic hook-up culture of college, am I right? What we don’t often discuss is the mindset behind these actions and way of thinking, despite the fact that most don’t even realize it. Why do students often choose to get hammered, attend some party, hook up with one of the people at the party, and do it all over again the next weekend? Instant gratification. Short-term satisfaction. What happens in the long-run?

In the long run, some students get hit with what adults call the “real world”, even though I really think that is misused. College students are already in the damn real world to be honest, it’s just that some or must of us aren’t aware of how to balance our life and maybe get our fucking shit together and stop getting fucked over by the same people. For girls, they call these people “fuck boys”. But I’m gonna be really blunt here…these guys wouldn’t be “fuck boys” if you didn’t give them the opportunity to be one. It’s very simple and vice versa. Isn’t it so much easier to blame our actions on someone else? In the long run, it takes kids, millennials, students, who turn into “real” adults, longer to adapt into the “life balance”, they continue to feel that huge emptiness/void they always felt but fixed very temporarily with the instant gratification, rather than face the pain and hardship early on in the first place. Are we starting to see the beauty of delayed gratification and why that may be a better choice? Because I see it simply as pay now or pay later. Either way, you’re kinda fucked but there are a lot more advantages to paying now.

Choosing some sort of delayed gratification or maybe making decisions based on long-term goals/visions takes longer, requires more patience and discipline, usually because the reward in the end is more valuable than the short-term choice. For example, saving up for a car. You might have to sacrifice all your weekends to work extra hours, but hey, it’s either get drunk with everyone else or treat yourself to whatever you want, right? My great example is that I chose a lot of dumb high school and college idea bullshit over taking my skating a little more seriously (long-term could’ve been a chance at Team USA, but I can’t blame my back injury for also hindering my opportunities). This is honestly a very simple philosophy, yet majority of our culture seem to forget how to make wise choices. We want a Range Rover maybe by the age of 23 for example, but aren’t willing to sacrifice some weeknights and weekends to work extra hours and save up for that pretty little rover. So by the time we are 30 we have no other option but to hope our “rich, successful husbands” buys it for us. How cute…if you get lucky. But I don’t bank on luck (and neither should you). Or maybe we want those #relationshipgoals we see all over Instagram and social media (shoutout to the one’s faking it like it’s their career, sorry Helen Owen, I saw your boyfriend at a Palisades party back in the summer and that didn’t look too loyal to me, oops?), but choosing to hook up with a different person each weekend because that’s easier, takes less effort, and we “avoid” whatever presumed problems we put in our heads about relationships (we honestly kill it for ourselves before we even get there by making presumptions just saying). Although I’m sure studies somehow show that down the line, it fucks you up a little bit psychologically. I mean let’s be real, you don’t go through a different boy/girl each weekend and stay completely the same before you started. You’ll likely end up with more trust issues and emotional pain than someone who didn’t fuck around with 20+ guys/girls their entire college career because they were all “hoes” or “fuck boys” to you. But reality is, 90% played the game but blamed those who fucked them over for causing the pain even though they did it to themselves.

Moral of the story, face some of that bullshit pain now and create some valuable priorities, (while you are still young and can choose) and put your energy there. If you’ve been dying to create a blog, business, get a 4.0 for the semester, lose 5 pounds, be in a serious relationship, then maybe start with the first step to get to the end goal. Like go to the gym. Study ahead. Find a mentor. Don’t waste energy in that “fuck boy/girl”. Or in all the booze you consume. Or the weed. Also, don’t be offended by anything I say here. They are just blunt thoughts, not that I judge anyone that does anything I said here, but I am just saying why a different choice could result in a better outcome in the long-run (yes, delayeddddd gratification).

Delayed gratification = you choose how you live your life 5-10 years from now. Don’t regret later.

Till next time…


Emily Duong

Born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, but currently residing in Orange County, California. Emily Elizabeth is an entrepreneur, athlete, and lifestyle blogger sharing her everyday lifestyle and healthy mindset.



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