The Art of Patience: How Delayed Gratification Builds Wealth

I always say I’m the most impatient person in the world. From the moment I get in my car until I arrive at my destination, I comment on all the annoying and slow drivers. It’s hard to execute delayed gratification.

“C’mon! Really! Can you drive any slower?”

It’s a way to entertain myself. My family and girlfriend are used to it and laugh. But I’m also serious.

When we plan to leave the house, I’m the type who says, “Let’s go” every second until we actually go.

My impatience has helped me in my career, though. When something needs to be done, I do it immediately. I can’t wait. My aim is to always do it today, not tomorrow.

But that approach is not helpful when it comes to finances. You need patience to build proper wealth.

Here’s how I learned the art of patience when it comes to building wealth.

1. Understanding how investing and compounding works

You can read about investing and compounding as much as you want. But unless you actually compound your own money, you can never understand the magic.

And it doesn’t matter how much money you invest. This is the power of delayed gratification.

You must put up some money and wait for at least a year. If you’re unlucky, you invested at the top of a bull market, and you’re in a bear market. But in most cases, you will be either up within a year or roughly around the same level.

But that’s okay. Because you will see that your money is doing its work. Especially in the stock market. The S&P 500 goes up and down. Up and down. But it doesn’t die. In the past 30 years, despite wars and pandemics, the S&P 500 still averages a 10.7% annual return.1Source: The Motley Fool

As the market moves, your money does the work. You need to see this for yourself.

You will start to understand investing. With understanding comes more patience.

2. Adding to your investments regularly

When you see that investing in stocks actually works, you start feeling good. You might want to pour all your savings into the market.

I’m not a fan of that strategy. It will make you nervous. And nervous people become impatient.

You need to set yourself up in a way that enhances patience.

So you add smaller amounts every month. You set up automatic investments. You transfer the money to your brokerage app, and your broker does the buying for you.

It’s really simple, and it helps you let go of your investments. Just let the market do what it does.

And it happens that the market keeps going up in the long run.

3. Detach yourself from your money

This is the delayed gratification part. People often talk about it, but they never really share how you can become someone who delays gratification.

In my experience, the best way to do it is by detaching yourself from your money.

When you invest, say goodbye to your money for now. And don’t set a date for when you reunite.

Just say, “I’m going to send you away. Do your work. And maybe we’ll see each other in a few decades.”


Yes. That’s the best mindset for building proper wealth.

Patience is a mindset. It’s one you must cultivate through your actions and self-talk.

They go hand in hand.

Don’t expect you to become a patient investor overnight. You need to regularly invest and then simple wait.

And the good thing is that those are the two things that are 100% within your control.

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