May 23, 2021•328 words
Reading time: 2 min
How does one optimise the balance between present happiness and future happiness?
Delayed gratification is arguably delaying current happiness in with the view of gaining further happiness in the future.
(Taking a materialistic example,)
I could, with my money, purchase an item that would grant me great utility and convenience, thereby freeing more of my time to do things I enjoy. This would increase my current happiness.
I could, alternatively, invest my money and allow my future self to have more money than what I initially put in. This would increase my future happiness.
With the first option, my future self might become less happy due to having less resources or regretting that I didn't invest my money.
With the latter option, my current self might become less happy due to not having the same utility, time or delight I would have otherwise gained with the purchase.
How does one optimise this?
But by the time our future selves experience this supposed stepped-up happiness or success, we desire more. Our achievements only ever give us fleeting happiness and fulfilment. Eventually, the delight from achieving what we desired will fade and further goals will be set.
The alternative method of seeing things is to always be grateful, happy and fulfilled with our current achievements and possessions.
"Eventually, the delight from achieving what we desired will fade and further goals will be set. "
(Is it possible to stop this cycle?)
"The alternative method of seeing things is to always be grateful, happy and fulfilled with our current achievements and possessions."
(But then how would one seek improvement? Or rather, what will be the motivation improvement if we are constantly happy our current situation? Perhaps that's the wrong way to view it. It's to be grateful for what we have, but also look forward to greater happiness?)
A relevant note:
Aligning the values of your current self with your future self