We All Seek Pleasure and Avoid pain.

But is this a bad thing?


Anything worth doing or worth having in life takes a significant amount of time. There are very few short cuts worth pursuing. Grinding it out ends up being the only real option.

In your 20’s, 30’s & 40’s It’s hard to understand the importance of superannuation. Most of us would much rather receive the 11% of salary in your pocket than having it mandatorily squirreled away for your future benefit.


Superannuation is the Government’s lever for enforcing mass delayed gratification, I.E. forced saving for retirement.

Thanks to the Keating government, since 1992 Australia has had “compulsory superannuation” where all employers make compulsory payments to super funds (which has now risen to11% of their employee's wages). This has been a hugely successful way of ensuring that the majority of retirees have sufficient savings for a comfortable retirement.


It’s human nature to want good things and to want them now, I.E. instant gratification. We all seek pleasure and avoid pain.


“In an age where Amazon has accustomed us to one-day delivery and Netflix has gotten us hooked on instant streaming; it seems unthinkable to wait.”  Seph Fontane Pennock


Succumbing to our human urge for quick pleasure although nice for a while can be very destructive long term. However, if we decide to put off the pleasure or reward in order to gain more pleasure or a better reward in the future I.E delayed gratification, the benefits can be enormous.


Throughout life we are faced with decisions regarding instant or delayed gratification, and these decisions compound over years and decades to determine our lifestyle and our financial freedom.

  • Do you go to university for 4 to 6 years or enter the workforce straight after school?
  • Do you stay in a decent job or leave and start up your own business?
  • Do you save for 5 to10 years to buy your own home or travel overseas and rent a home long term?
  • Do you buy a modest car from savings or take out a lease for a much nicer car?


“It takes 10 years to become an over-night success” Unknown.


This is where grit and fortitude come in to determine who will succeed and who will struggle.

The benefits of delayed gratification are obvious to us all, so why do we continually struggle with waiting and chose the instant gratification again and again?


“Technology has eliminated the garage workshop and the whole notion of making stuff with our hands and replaced it with a sense of immediacy and instant gratification.” Joe McNally


  • We live in a “fast society”, the quicker the better. Fast food tastes good and it’s convenient.
  • The future is uncertain. If you can’t paint a vivid picture of your future, you have little motivation to plan for it.
  • Pressure from the cost of living. Our hierarchy of everyday needs diminish our ability for future planning.
  • Stress and anxiety reinforce our need to improve our mood – now.
  • Social influences such as education, intelligence and economics are closely linked to our ability for future planning and making the most of opportunities.
  • Impulsiveness diminishes with age, and along with this comes wisdom.


Financial planning, I.E. saving and investing is one of life’s most important examples of delayed gratifications. It takes discipline and planning plus decades of patience for your savings to compound and for any real security to amass. Compulsory superannuation is often peoples only stable asset in their long-term financial plan.

Starting and running a small business is also one big exercise in delayed gratification. If you are lucky and work hard enough it takes at least 10 years to see any real financial or lifestyle returns.

It’s an unfortunate fact that delayed gratification really only pays off later in life and that many of us don’t have the foresight or patience to benefit from their decades of hard work.


“For our ancient ancestors’ starvation was a much bigger concern than obesity.” Unknown


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