From the smallest of pleasures to the biggest of dreams, we all have things we want in life. Material or otherwise, there are some things we can get right away, and other things we can't.
A predicament lies in the situations where we must sacrifice a greater long-term desire in the process of attaining or obtaining something more immediate.
A question one may ask when thinking of what they want is,
“If I give up this opportunity, will it be gone forever? Will I have to wait a long time before I can get another opportunity like it?”
For example, there may be a sale with good deals on specific items, and such items may be limited in stock. With the added factor of demand, it would not be wrong to assume you have a short window of time to secure an item.
Want From Need
For the most part, it isn't bad to let yourself have the things you want. Being able to have good things, big or small, can help lift your mood and confidence at times.
However, it is different when you begin to consider the things you want as things you “need”. When you end up relying on a constant stream of small but costly pleasures or treats to keep you feeling good, especially on demand, it all adds up.
One of the most common examples of this is the Starbucks scenario used to put saving and investment into perspective. The general idea is that if you forgo regularly purchasing cups of coffee, the money you save that you would have otherwise spent accumulates into a significant sum.
With that sum, your life savings by a certain age would be sizable and it would supposedly help you live better. While it does sound a lot more desirable than constantly having cups of coffee, the coffee is really just a stand-in for the relatively small but optional costs of things you might want on a regular basis.
Food delivery, nice clothes, and even subscriptions to services like Netflix or Spotify—there are many seemingly negligible yet cumulative costs that you can cut down on if you're more interested in saving up for something you consider more valuable.
If the benefit of getting something is instant gratification, try to consider what you could potentially miss out on by choosing to go for it.
In juxtaposition with one of the examples I previously mentioned, imagine finding an item you really want, but you remember that there's an upcoming sale in 14 days.
When that item is right in front of you, those couple weeks will feel like forever. If the demand is high and you risk being unable to get it anymore, it would make sense to want to get it immediately.
But if you don't want it badly enough to warrant getting it outside of a discount, or maybe you know you can get something you want much more that's only available during the sale, it would be the best course of action to forgo the lesser item. By doing so, you can get what you want more and save more. Think of the value!
If you can afford to either wait to get something you want at a more practical time or simply forgo it altogether, it would eventually pay off in the form of easily being able to have greater things. Decide which things are most valuable or desirable to you, and you might just be able to let all else go.