How To Overcome Instant Gratification: The Dangers of the “Right Now” Mindset

You know the feeling – You realize you’ve been scrolling through your smartphone for an hour, and it’s not even noon yet.

Suddenly, you remember that you wanted to work on that project for school or write your resume. 

You decide to take a break, but then, after five minutes of doing something else, you find yourself back on your phone again.

It’s easy to succumb to instant gratification, to check social media one more time, or scroll through Instagram or YouTube videos. But this short-term reward can come at the expense of long-term goals and fulfillment. 

The good news is there are 9 ways to overcome this “right now” mindset and become content with what we have at the moment. Read them carefully to extract all the values from them.

1. Know the causes behind instant gratification

Allowing instant gratification to become a dominant part of your life comes down to three reasons: habit, poor self-control, and lack of attention to self. 

Being more aware of the three causes of instant gratification will help you recognize its dangers and eliminate these problems from your life. If you already struggle with these issues, you can start by being more mindful of your habits. 

Once you recognize that instant gratification is one of your bad habits, you can start doing something about it.

2. Taking Control of Your Life

When I first decided to lose weight, I was surrounded by dozens of things that I wanted to have. 

I had the fantasy of what my ideal weight would be. 

My friends and family were trying to take me out of my health goals, but I decided to ignore their opinions and take control of my life.

If your friend asks you what you had for lunch, tell them and share it with them.

If I had gotten up and gone to the cafeteria and then told my friend that I had a big salad, she probably would have told me what a loser I was. But I didn’t have time to go through all that. I had to eat the food I wanted, and I wanted fruit. So I took control of my food.

3. Create a Plan 

Working through problems without a plan can be difficult, but it will help you more than anything. 

Thinking things in advance and putting a plan in place will give you the required structure.

When you create a plan, you know what you want, where you are headed, and how to get there. 

If you don’t know where you are moving, you have no direction. If you don’t have a direction, then you won’t know how to get there.

4. Embrace Failure 

Failures are a key to improvement and self-growth. 

An average person, in a decade, learns to do something called the stop and go. In that decade, he learns to drive a car, play tennis, write, eat with cutlery, control a computer, read a book, dance a rumba. And in the same decade, he learns to fail. He’ll usually fail at least twenty-five times before he masters the skill.

Today’s always-on culture encourages us to have everything we want and do everything we want right now. 

Living in the instant gratification bubble can lead to impulsive behaviors. 

All the problem-solving skills that come from failure and failure-making, which leads to success and achievement is a double-edged sword.

5. Stop Comparing 

Stop comparing yourself to others. It makes you feel less than you already are. You look for shortcuts to improve yourself or your life instantly. 

Be the best version of yourself, and you will find contentment and motivation. Focus on your own life and the happiness you want to feel. Don’t let anyone else’s life bring you down or make you think their lives are better than yours.

6. Practice Mindfulness

Overcome instant gratification by practicing mindful living. It means slowing down and paying attention to everything around you. 

Learn to pay attention to what you are feeling in your body. 

Imagine how you want to feel in the moment? What would you do to feel better? 

For example, if you are working to achieve better fitness, examine how you treat your body. Think about what kind of foods you need to eat to feel healthy and strong.

7. Learn to Say No 

We all have been told “no” in some way or another throughout our lives. 

There is a big difference between the results of “yes” and “no”. If you say “yes” to something that is not for you, it is only going to hinder your life, and who knows where it might lead you?

That is why learning how to say “no” is so important. You have to set up boundaries in life and know when you are asking for too much in a short time and when to take a step back and say “no.”

8. Gain Perspective 

As tempting as instant gratification sounds, let’s take a step back and think about it for a second. 

Your relationship with food could be a great example. 

Is your trip to McDonald’s going to ruin your diet? Not really. Then, how much is too much? Does it mean that every time you crave a piece of chocolate cake, you are going to eat it instead of walking away from the delicious tempting food?

Many of us have become so used to instant gratification that it’s just what we do. While it can be a temptation, it’s even more of a temptation to become a slave to a lifestyle of instant gratification.

9. Live in the Moment

The next time you want to get something right away, stop and think about how you really feel. 

  • Is this an urgent or important matter? 
  • Does it serve a vital purpose in your life? 

If it’s urgent or important, you will be able to get it resolved as soon as possible. But if it doesn’t seem that important, give yourself a bit of a break. 

Most of us really don’t need that luxury of instant gratification. 

The beauty of living in the moment is that it doesn’t have a time limit. You are here to learn, not to have fun or chase trivial things. What will happen tomorrow will be taken care of tomorrow. 

Don’t try to save a single rose for tomorrow. Live the life that is in front of you and enjoy every second of it.

End of the Line

The Instant Gratification Trap is the single most common trap to get you off course in your life. As with any other trap, the temptation is simple, and the route is paved with lies. 

The moment you start down this path, you will feel an immediate sense of fulfillment. You will be excited and empowered by your newly discovered power.

So, Do not be the victim of instant gratification. Have patience, and you will get what you deserve.

Hi there! I am Varun Pahwa.
I’ve learned several lessons from some of my darkest life experiences. Join me at Uprisehigh where I share brilliant tips on personal development, relationships, life simplification, and a lot more. Share your stories and honor me with the opportunity to help you out with your problem


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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