I can resist everything except temptation.
Oscar Wilde (Irish poet and playwright)
Gratification is important for our psychological and physical equilibrium. However, gratifying some desires or the way we do so may not actually be desirable. Furthermore, immediate gratification is not always appropriate. So this area will focus on how to be more in charge of this aspect of your life.
Allowing the urge for gratification to control us has many negative consequences (e.g. reduced freedom, distorted priorities, disregard for others). As external and internal factors can be implicated in this, we need to maintain some control over both:
- Circumstances: our gratification urge can be affected by circumstances or others. While stable availability and proximity (not available, easily available and always available) do not add to a desire, uncertain availability and proximity can intensify already existing desires, which makes it harder to remain in charge. For example, if somebody you desire is not available at all, easily available or always available your desire is likely to remain the same or even decrease. This is because in the first case you sooner or later give up on them and in the latter cases you can satisfy your desire before it builds up. However, if that person is close and then distant, is sometimes available and sometimes not, your desire may intensify. So, to remain in charge, it is better to reduce uncertainty. For instance, rather than waiting for such a person to turn up or call, make alternative plans (just in case) and get on with life.
- Internal state: greater control is secured if you are fully aware of what you are doing and why. So remember to step back for a moment just before you plunge into satisfying your desire. As well as a sense of control, this will also give you some time to check if you really want something and to what extent.