Compliments of Gonzalo Merat, via Flickr

Compliments of Gonzalo Merat, via Flickr

The selfie craze stems from narcissism. Millennials may feel immortal – a perception that prevents them from future planning. Long term organization is essential for career pathing and personal finance, areas where consultants can help us craft end goals.

The magical compounding of money can over time create watershed retirements. Keys include beginning early, depositing like a slot machine, and leaving the lump sum intact. Our propensity toward immediate gratification precludes the denial of tempting, seductive objects. Mischel’s famous marshmallow test suggests that a prime component of EQ (and subsequent life success) is delayed gratification – putting off momentary pleasure to reap future rewards. In his test, children were instructed to wait several minutes before a mouthwatering marshmallow. Those who succeeded received two.

Children who preemptively popped the treat were plagued by lower SAT scores, obesity, drug use, and jail sentences. Amazingly, the single test correlated with significantly worse outcomes than for small individuals who stayed the course. Why is delaying what we want so difficult? Possibly, because mass marketers aren’t interested in showing us the benefits. A mere flip of the TV, internet trawl, or splashy department store display provides myriad enticements.

You can occasionally whet your appetite and appease your material girl/boy by indulging in small luxuries (like designer chocolates), and high end clothing resale which can fill your closets with Gucci, Louis Feraud, Dior, and Chanel for a fraction of the cost. A little creativity in dining out (e.g., eating appetizers and mini desserts in a choice restaurant) instead of a dinner plate not only cuts calories, but the resulting tab at the end of your meal. And there’s always the time tested recipe of savoring what you have – as 1000 Gifts and Simple Abundance encourage us.

Happy: A Documentary, suggests wealth past a certain point and joy are not cousins. Remedies to destress are in most cases not fabulous five star resorts, but small, every day to-dos, like buying a happy day gift for another person, watching a lightening show, or listening to a baby’s belly laugh. Each of them low cost, but priceless in their own way.

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All viewpoints expressed by Jackie Gilbert are her own, and not of her employer.

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