Arjun Badola

Delayed gratification: what i learned from warren buffett

This article is not on the investing philosophies which Warren Buffett has taught to the world and showed his philosophy works. This is about learning the concept which my generation has a huge problem with and that is Instant Gratification.

In today’s world where we have websites like Amazon which can deliver goods on the same day and smartphones which can provide you with instant dopamine pleasures with just a click. We all have forgotten what it feels like to live in a place where gratification is delayed.

Starting with simple examples, let’s look at how my generation text these days. If we don’t get an instant reply we get into the world of imagination and start developing conclusions.

The most common incident is when you text your crush and they just seenzone you it will tear your world apart. You will start jumping on conclusions like they don’t like you or you are just a creep (If you don’t get this feeling great!).

Instead there can be some practical reasons which we might have never thought of.

Simple reasons like they might have got into some work (Instantly called by your parents can be one of those). I know whatever I am saying has already been said out there and everybody knows about it. But I think sometimes it feels good to read about things which we already know. It might refresh our thinking on that topic.

What Warren Buffett has taught me is to invest for the long term. Never try to get into the stock market thinking it as a ‘get rich quick scheme’ instead hang in there. I would like to quote his mentor Benjamin Graham here.

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine but in the long run, it is a weighing machine.” - Benjamin Graham

Slowly I have started applying this philosophy in my day to day life and I have found it quite interesting.

I started to purposefully delay gratification in case of making a decision regarding purchase of any materialistic object.

Let me give you an example, maybe to which you could relate.

So, I was planning to buy expensive headphones which looked flashy and very attractive. As usual, before making a purchase I started reading reviews, watching videos, etc regarding the product. Then after all this I decided to buy it but then before ordering, I thought of doing an experiment. What I did is to buy the product but only after a week.

As the days passed I realized that the headphones were not as flashy as they looked and the features which it was providing was actually not needed. Maybe it was just their marketing strategy which had made me fall into a bubble where everything looked amazing about the product.

All I would do is recommend that you try the experiment once with yourself. Try to delay the gratification and see how it works for you.

Further for more about this topic you can watch this video of Simon Sinek talking about the millennials. Just for the record, me providing a link to this video does not mean I agree to whatever he says in the video. This is simply to furnish you with an alternate point of view.

(Thanks to Mojo Handykraftz for reading drafts of this.)