One of the things that the pandemic taught us is that life is too short to be anything but happy. As the world began to face the reality of a new normal, the catchphrase “deserve ko ‘to!” exploded in Filipino pop culture.
The “deserve ko ‘to!” or “I deserve this!” mentality quickly caught fire on social media, giving Filipinos an excuse to justify their impulsive and sometimes lavish spending – applying to a wide range of things including food, clothing, gadgets, travel, hobbies, etc. It seems that after a period of lockdowns, quarantines, and travel restrictions, Filipinos became more open to spending their money on tangible (products) and intangible (experiences) things in pursuit of a little happiness.
Filipino celebrity Alden Richards thinks there’s nothing wrong with Pinoys’ inclination to the “deserve ko ‘to!” frame of mind. He said in an interview with Pep.ph that it’s okay to have a reward system in your life by buying something that you want, but keeping it in moderation. Richards also added that people who work hard for their money deserve to give themselves a treat every now and then. Do you agree that we should immediately “reward” ourselves when we feel like doing it? Or should we wait longer and delay the “prize” so we can look forward to something greater?
Before you give in to another “budol”, let’s learn about the idea behind “deserve ko ‘to” and delayed gratification. See how the distinctions between the two work for you.
In today’s world, we are constantly bombarded with messages that encourage us to seek instant gratification. Nowadays,we can have almost anything we want with just a few clicks. But what are the implications of always giving in to our impulses?
“Deserve ko ‘to” is synonymous with instant gratification wherein the individual seeks pleasure or satisfaction without delay. According to Positive Psychology, instant gratification refers to a person’s tendency to go for the option that results in the easiest or quickest form of reward, even if it means giving up the more rewarding future outcome or sacrificing a long-term goal.
There are many examples of instant gratification in everyday life. For example, there are times when you might choose to eat junk food instead of cooking a healthy meal, watch your favorite K-Drama instead of working on your paper, or spend money you don’t have on things you don’t need.
Delayed gratification is resisting the impulse of an instant reward in anticipation of a future greater reward. In the 1960s, Walter Mischel, a professor from Stanford, performed one of the best delayed gratification experiments called the “Marshmallow Test”. With children ages 3 – 5 years old as subjects, researchers placed each child in an empty, private room, with one marshmallow placed on the table. Researchers explained to each child that if he/she refrained from eating the marshmallow while they left the room, the child would get another marshmallow as a reward. But if the child ate the marshmallow, he/she would not get a second one. According to the experiment, the children who exhibited delayed gratification did better in certain areas of life, including academics, social skills, mental health, and overall well-being.
Here are a few examples of delayed gratification:
At 35, Althea finally landed her dream job. It’s high-paying and she finally gets to do something she actually likes doing. She often gets the urge to splurge on clothes and shoes, now that she can actually afford them. But she decided she won’t give in to temptation because she’s been wanting to get a new car for a while. After 3 years of thrift, Althea is finally driving her own car.
Your friends keep getting coffee from this popular coffee shop. You thought it’d be nice if you could do that too, but you’d rather save the money ‘cause you’ve been thinking of getting an HMO plan. You’ve been hospitalized before and you know how hard it hit you when you had to shell out Php 68,000 for the procedures, so you don’t want that happening again. You heard about Medicare Plus’ health care plans and after saving a sufficient amount of money, you got a family plan so your loved ones are covered too. The following week, your parents immediately got to use their health card which was convenient for everyone.
What are the benefits of delayed gratification?
Whether it’s “deserve ko ‘to” or delayed gratification, it’s best to weigh our options before deciding. If you’ve been practicing delayed gratification for some time, you can spice things up by gifting yourself with something spontaneous, especially if you know you deserve it.