Within the constraints of morality and maturity, you should do whatever you need to do to feel gratified in the moment. It may be as subtle as choosing a more positive thought or reminding yourself to smile. Maybe it’s taking two minutes in your car or at your desk to do nothing but fantasize. Maybe instant gratification is fifty sit-ups for an adrenaline rush, ordering dessert first, giving an unexpected hug, signing the lease, or telling your boss to shove it.
Gratification builds the momentum, motivation, and muscle for the work that will require patience and stamina. Of course you can’t always have what you want immediately. But you can find ways to turn frustration into savouring. You can fill the waiting space with pleasure so you become less stressed and more juiced, so you feel less at the mercy of time and more devoted to your dream.
The amazing irony is that the more often you create instant gratification — pleasure in the moment — the more patience you have for the things that take time.