Delayed gratification is the secret to success in life, wealth

“The gratification of wealth is not found in mere possession or in lavish expenditure, but in its wise application.” – Miguel de Cervantes

By Kevin Theissen
Skygate Financial Group LLC

Wise Money with Kevin TheissenDelayed gratification is one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work and life overall. There is no question that it is also a key for achieving financial security and freedom.

The Marshmallow Experiment

This well-known experiment began by placing a marshmallow on the table in front of a child. The child was then offered a deal. If the child did not eat the marshmallow, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow.

However, if the child decided to eat the first one before the researcher came back in 15 minutes, they would not get a second marshmallow. The choice was simple: one treat right now or two treats later.

Very few waited. Most ate the first marshmallow.

Success in Life

Success usually comes down to choosing the pain of discipline over the ease of distraction. And that’s exactly what delayed gratification is all about.

There are examples everywhere.

If you delay the gratification of playing videos games and get your homework done now, you’ll learn more and get better grades.

If you delay the gratification of grabbing the cookie in the break room and wait until you eat a nutritious lunch, you’ll be healthier.

If you delay the gratification of finishing your workout early and put in a few more reps,  you’ll be stronger.

Financial Success

The fundamentals of achieving and maintaining wealth are basically very simple: Spend as little as possible and invest properly.

  1. Savings = Delayed Spending (we save so we can spend later.)
  2. Investment is simply the execution of the deferral of consumption.
  3. When and how you plan to spend in the future dictates your Asset Allocation.
  4. Main Savings/Future spending needs or wants include:
    a. Retirement
    b. Emergencies
    c. Healthcare
    d. Education
    e. Future generations

Success in nearly every aspect of life requires you to ignore doing something easier (delaying gratification) in favor of doing something harder (doing the work and putting in your reps). This is a certainty when it comes to financial success. Save now so you can spend later. This assures financial security and freedom.

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Filed Under: Business & Personal FinanceWise Money

About the Author: Kevin M. Theissen, principal and financial advisor at Skygate Financial Group LLC, has more than 20 years of experience as an investment advisor, wealth manager and tax professional.

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