Thursday, February 07, 2008

Delayed Gratification - A Foundational Life Skill

I probably think too much about our daughter's future:-) However, being older parents, I realize that we may not be present for much of her adult life. Therefore, I'd like to ensure she develops skills and abilities that will enable her to be successful and happy, especially if we are not there to help.

One important life skill that I believe she needs is the ability to delay gratification, or being able to wait to obtain something one wants. The ability to delay gratification appears to be a good indicator of potential for life success.

In the area of personal finance, delayed gratification is an important element of being successful. Saving, not using debt, investing, and spending less that one earns all require the ability to delay gratification. Doing well in school and attending college also require a sense of delayed gratification, since the pay off for the effort happens later in life. Finally, continued education and development for future benefits would also involve the utilization of delayed gratification skills.

While having the ability itself does not guarantee success, I believe the skill of delayed gratification is a necessary one in many parts of life. Without the skill, one may overly focus on the present and make choices to the detriment of one's future.

For more on Crossing Generations , check back every Thursday for a new segment.

Photo Credit:, Patricia E. Green

This is not financial or parental advice. Please consult a professional advisor.
Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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