Instant Pleasure or Delayed Gratification

It must have been high time today (December 1) that I read 2 stories about delayed gratification. One from my favorite author Bo Sanchez and another one (a link)  shared by one of my favorite personal finance coach Randell Tiongson.

Let me borrow the story posted by Bo Sanchez in his facebook page so that you can relate (I’ve read this before and it never fails to amaze me).

Drink Now Or Drink Forever?

One day, a man got lost walking in the desert.

The next day, he was still lost. After two days under the scorching sun, he was very thirsty.

All of a sudden, he saw a little wooden shed. He ran to it, thinking of only one thing—Water!

When he arrived there, he saw an old, rusty water pump sticking from the ground. He gripped the handle and began pumping like a mad man. But nothing came out.


photo c/o

Disappointed, he stepped back how to make it work.

Looking around, he saw a jug covered with dust.When he grabbed it, he saw a piece of paper stuck on it. The message read, “Open this jug and you’ll find water. Don’t drink it. Pour it instead on the pump. And you’ll have all the water you want.”

He popped the cork. True enough, the jug was filled with water. Lovely, thirst-quenching, water.

Now imagine you’re that thirsty man. For two whole days, you haven’t drunk water. Your mouth is so dry, your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth. You’re literally dying of thirst. And you’re now holding a jug full of water.

But the message says that you should throw it away! For a moment, your heart is torn.

What if the message was a joke? A cruel prank? What if you poured the water on that rusty pump and nothing happened?

But the man in our story chose to take the risk.He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and poured the water.He held the handle and pumped like crazy.A few seconds later, torrents of water gushed out.

Indeed, he had more water than he could ever need!He drank to his heart’s content. He also found water containers to bring with him on his journey and filled them up to the brim.But before leaving the place, he filled the jug with water.And underneath the sign attached to it, he scribbled, “I tried it. Believe me, it works.”

You Have A Choice: Money Now Or Money Forever

This is a great picture of why people are poor.

The money that you hold now, no matter how small, is like that jug of water. And you always have a choice: You can drink now or you can drink forever. You can have money now or have money forever. How? By investing.A lot of people don’t invest. They spend whatever they have.

I’ve met people who earn P10T a month or 50T a month or P500T a month—and they spend everything. (Yes, I’ve met a lot of high-income poor people!) That’s why their money pump remains dry. And they’ll remain poor forever. It really doesn’t matter how much people earn. What matters is how much they invest.

Investment is a crazy decision.It’s as crazy as pouring that last jug of water into the pump.

Friend, you have money now.

It may be small but you have it.And you’re standing in front of a money pump.

Start Investing Now And Retire Wealthy

Friend, you have a choice.Will you simply consume your money?

Or will you pour it into the money pump—so that it produces more money for you?


The second one is a straight forward article – a little bit boring to read (not because it’s not good but simply because it is straight forward) unlike the first one.  But if you’ll read everything, you’ll see his point. Here’s what Randell shared – written by Rienzie Biolena on Business Mirror:

Delaying Gratification

ROME wasn’t built in a day.–Old French Proverb

WE live in a fast-paced life.

We want things ASAP. Gone are the days when we would have to waited a long time for what we want and what we need: the faster, the better. Time is such a precious thing now that waiting is considered a waste of it. Time is wasted when we wait in line. Time is wasted when we wait for our computer to boot up.

We want things instantly. That’s why we have instant noodles, fastfood, instant messaging, instant loans, instant money, and instant riches. In short, we are surrounded with things that provide us instant gratification. We want that gadget, that car, that return on investment, those results…now.

Yet one of the major lessons in personal finance is being able to patiently stay the course and build up resources. And this takes time. Time is such a valuable commodity in personal finance that it is even incorporated in formulas for determining the value of money. Given a certain amount of money, you can determine—at a prevailing interest rate—its after a specified time period. It’s aptly called the Time Value of Money, and it goes to show that time really is gold (or money).

So we continually look for ways to crunch up our present expenditures and put it off for future use. In a world of instant gratification, disciplining ourselves when it comes to buying impulsively is one of the biggest marshmallow tests out there. Everywhere you look, promos, merchandises, gadgets, shoes, bags, and fancy dresses call out your attention—and your pocket. You see them in malls, in the internet, in TV, in newspapers, in huge billboards; you hear them on radio, and; you can even smell them when you pass by the perfume section. The temptation is almost omnipresent, the urge more than compelling.

continue reading the story here ->

Why is it that 2 articles about delaying gratification was posted today? Is it pure coincidence? Or they are trying to send  a message across.

Here’s my take on these articles. I don’t think they were coincidentally written and published on this day. I believe it was pure intentional because of one thing.

What do we usually get on the first week of December? – 13th Month Pay (at least for employees)

I’m sure most of you, weeks before the actual releasing of 13th month pay, you already have something to buy in mind.

Is it Ipad2?

Is it a new Blackberry phone?

Is it a new laptop?

Or is it a pair of new shoes, new bags, new clothes etc. The list can go on forever. We will always have something to buy.

That’s actually one of the  idea in the story – Instant Pleasure or Instant Gratification.

Your 13th month pay is like the jug of water that is readily available to you. Now the question is, will you instantly drink that water or will you put it in the pump first and have plenty of water later.

I hope you do what the man did in the story. Choosing the latter. That’s what we call Delaying Gratification.

Instead of enjoying the water or your 13th month pay today, you put it in a pump that can give you plenty of water later.

Invest some of your 13th month pay today. Be it on mutual funds, insurance, vul or stocks.

That way, you’ll have plenty of money later on and never go thirsty again.


Related stories I wrote about  13th month pay

The Truth About 13th Month Pay

How much should you spend for the Holidays?


Did you like this story? If so, please click Like or Post to Facebook for your friends to see. 😀

The following two tabs change content below.
Garry Zaldy de Castro is an advocate, Financial Advisor, Certified Investment Solicitor (Mutual Fund Representative), blogger, IT practitioner, husband to Aileen and a dad to Jacob and JohnD. He started Financial Planning Philippines in 2008 just to share his financial learning to friends, relatives and anyone who wishes to be financially independent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.