Delaying Pleasure

Posted May 15th, 2020 in Article

By: Fatchuri Rosidin (IG @fatchuri_fatah)
Inspirational Director Crossing the Ages

Psychologist Walter Mischel gathered a number of kindergarten students in a room at Stanford University to study. To them, he promised to give each child 1 piece of candy as soon as he finished talking. However, if they want to be patient, wait for 15 minutes, he will add a bonus of 1 more candy. He also left them in the room after putting the candies on the table.
Some children immediately take candy and enjoy it. Others try to be patient hoping to get 2 candies, but they can’t stand it and finally take the candy. Some of them try to distract themselves by singing, closing their eyes, avoiding the teasing of their friends, pretending to sleep, and other ways that are typical of children. Fifteen minutes passed, and the psychologist came with extra candy for those who managed to hold back their desires.
These children are examined his life journey: education, family life, career, and emotional relationships with others. He then concluded that children who as a child succeed in holding back their desires grow into successful people in their careers and households, have a good emotional life, are able to organize themselves, and have mature social relationships. They do not give up easily, are more socially capable, assertive, trustworthy, have initiative, and are better able to deal with life’s disappointments (Goleman, 1997).
Conversely, those who are impatient develop into immature people, almost all of whom have severe problems in the home, career failure, and poor emotional life. They are stubborn and doubtful, easily disappointed, consider themselves worthless, and still have not been able to delay gratification until years later. Apparently, the ability to hold back is very important in human life. It is also an important part of emotional intelligence.
The ability to refrain from short-term pleasure for the sake of long-term goals is one of the critical life skills essential for future success. This ability is often inherent in people who mature their personality and are able to think long term.

That is how our personal maturity is tested: how we can refrain from short-term pleasure for long-term success. The output is success. So fill your time with learning while there is a temptation to watch movies or play gadgets is the road to success. So saving and investing that we prioritize compared to spending it to shop online will lead us to success.
So is the maturity of our faith being tested: how can we refrain from short-term pleasures in the world for long-term happiness in the hereafter. The output is heaven. So refrain from food that is forbidden by God despite tempting our appetite is the way to success. So waking up in the middle of the night to pray and leave the joy of sleep is the road to success.
For believers, the journey of life is not 60-70 years. Because after death, life still continues in the realms of blessing. Maybe a thousand years. Or two thousand years. Until the end of the world comes. After the apocalypse, our life journey continues. We are resurrected and gathered in the Mahsyar desert which according to one hadith Qudsi lasted for 500 years. Even though one day in the hereafter is equal to a thousand years the size of world time. After that, there is eternal heaven and hell.
But that’s how we humans. Despite knowing, it’s not easy to carry out. Even though we know that something God does not like, we often cannot strengthen our hearts to resist his temptations. Despite knowing the reward of the midnight prayer or reading the Koran, we are not able to linger over it.
But Allah loves His servants. So He gives us the month of Ramadan. We are given a training center to practice the ability to delay pleasure. We withhold the short-term pleasure of eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. We reduce sleep time and replace it with night prayers. Full month; sufficient time to form a habit. The training center was even mass-conducted by one billion people. This revolution is the formation of extraordinary habits.
Referring to Walter Mischel’s research, the alumni who passed the Ramadan training center should develop into successful people in their careers and households, have a good emotional life, be able to organize themselves, and have mature social relationships. They do not give up easily, are more socially capable, assertive, trustworthy, have initiative, and are better able to deal with life’s disappointments.
Can we achieve it? It depends on our seriousness during the Ramadhan training center. END

Cross Age Inspiration (IMZ Consulting) is a social enterprise institution that helps profit and non-profit organizations in the fields of leadership, human resource development and community empowerment based on spiritual values.

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