Gratitude Can Inspire Patience, and Long Term Success [column]

MOST of us favor short-term gratification over long term rewards, and that’s not a good thing. For example, if offered a choice between receiving US$75 today or US$100 in a year, most people would choose the US$75 even though that’s less money.

The tendency to discount future value can contribute to various problems like credit card debt or substance abuse. We’re often told that using willpower to suppress our emotions can curb this desire for instant gratification however, using emotions can actually be helpful.

According to a new study, after prompting participants to think about things they’re grateful for, they demonstrated more patience, and were able to keep their impulses in check. This suggests that gratitude can foster long-term thinking. Because we all know that willpower can (and will) fail at times, having an alternative source of patience, one that stems from something as simple as reflecting on an emotional memory, offers an important tool for long term success.

Source : The Namibian