I absolutely love the TED Talk that I’ve included in this post. It’s all about how the ability to delay gratification is a key characteristic in successful people. The video shares a powerful perspective, and is guaranteed to make you laugh (wait until you see a 5 year practically inhale a marshmallow!).

I’d love it if you’d watch the video, then answer the question that follows about a contradiction that’s been bothering me!

So here’s the question. If delaying gratification is a key to success, how do you resolve its apparent contradiction to one of my favorite mantras – “Carpe Diem!”?

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Mary Cravets

Founder Mary Cravets started Simply Get Clients because she saw small business owners complicating growing their businesses. Or falling victim to the "build it and they will come" myth. So she developed the simple structure to cut through all the noise of social media, "experts", online funnels, advertising and more to focus on the central problem of business owners: getting more clients. And you know what? There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution.

Reader Interactions


  1. Patricia Wheat, About Face says

    I also believe in “Carpe Diem”, having learned it from my father as a young girl. I completely agree with delayed gratification also. To me, they are not contradictory. If I live each day in the moment… not missing anything… it does not mean that I cannot plan for the future and allow some things to be held in a bubble as they mature and come to fruition.

  2. Ginni Trask says

    Your question: If delaying gratification is a key to success, how do you resolve its apparent contradiction to one of my favorite mantras – “Carpe Diem!”?

    Actually this is not a contradiction, but must work in tandem with the ability to delay gratification. When you can delay gratification when it is necessary to do so, you then are prepared to seize the moment when it is presented to you. Because success in life, as in anything, requires balance, judgment and discernment. When you know that waiting will bring you greater rewards – you wait. When you know that jumping on an opportunity (for which you have probably been waiting and watching) presents itself – then you seize the day and the opportunity.

    To only do one without doing the other means that you have only learned half the lesson.

  3. Marian Sjostrom says

    The sample is very small. This in itself invalidates the information making it a “true” study. I believe that Carpe Deim can be tempered with the questions of want or need. Discernment is also part of the question. Interesting example and great photos.

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