Humans are hardwired to want things -- now. It’s called instant gratification, and it’s a powerful force. In most psychological models, humans are believed to act upon the “pleasure principle.” The pleasure principle is basically the driving force that compels human beings to gratify their needs, wants, and urges.
These needs, wants, and urges can be as basic as the need to breathe, eat or drink. But they can be as complex as the “need” for the newest IPhone or some other cool new product.
This urgency has a tangible cost.
Here’s an example.
I used to run workshops and group training sessions, sometimes for hundreds of people. On your feet talking for 8 hours can be tiring, so to make sure I’d be sharp on the day, I would generally fly in the day before, get a good night’s sleep, hit the gym in the morning and have a healthy breakfast. That way, I was raring to go.
On one particular trip, I’d forgotten to pack some socks.
It’s about 30 minutes before I start.
I figured I had 3 options:
Option 3 sounded good. This particular hotel had a couple of gifts shops, so I thought I would take my chances there.
Now, how much would you pay for a pair of socks?
$5, may be $10 (you’d get 3 pair for that in some places).
How much do you think I paid in that gift shop?
$42. For a pair of socks.
That, is the cost of urgency.
I paid 300% more, because I absolutely needed them, and I needed them now.
Not all instant gratification is bad mind you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting or needing things, experiences, or products in a timely manner.
But it’s important to balance our desires with a realistic sense of timing and patience. If not, we inevitably pay more than we need to.
There are so many examples.
So before you choose any of these options, think about what this could be costing you over time.
Imagine all that saved money going on your mortgage. An extra $300 per month over 20 years will put an extra $125,000 in your pocket. That's a lot of change.
Do you get the picture?
Have patience. Look at your money in both present and future value.
So next time, before you buy something really big, answer this little question. Do I really need this now or can I wait just a little bit longer?
Advertising shouts out at you to buy today, but you’ll get a much better deal tomorrow.
There are plenty of others, who can share an example of the Cost of Urgency?
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