How to Avoid the Instant Gratification Trap

I struggle with this so much. My self-worth goes down directly in proportion to how much I give in. That’s the fucking problem. It’s too easy to give in. It will be the reason for my downfall and maybe yours if we keep letting it happen.

Your brain does NOT give a FUCK about your success!  Your brain only cares about 3 things: Eating, killing and fucking. Your success will be in direct proportion to your ability to do the opposite of what your brain wants you to do.

Your brain will try to sabotage you. Our ancestors didn’t have a lot of access to resources such as sugars, salts, fats, comfort, and pussy. These luxuries are abundant in our lives. They are too easily accessible. (Pussy isn’t that easy but porn is).

The fact is that our brains will sabotage us. The next problem is that most of us have been conditioned to be addicted to instant gratification. These two things combined form a terrible concoction. This concoction is what separates the Alexander The Greats in life from your fat lazy neighbor Bob.

This is a war. Fuck mediocrity. THIS IS A FUCKING WAR. The only way you will win is if you do what others won’t.

If you are like me then you’re probably surrounded by mediocrity. Your environment (the people you surround yourself with, your fridge, your computer, etc) is diametrically opposed to your growth. I’m mad at myself as I type this. I just spent the last 3 days in a state of complete mediocrity.  

I was the epitome of who I didn’t want to be. I was eating tons of junk food, zoning out in front of the computer and watching all types of nonsense. I knew better but my brain didn’t give a fuck. It felt too uncomfortable to come out of it.

As I was eating the junk food, I was literally saying “This is going to make me sicker and the only reason I’m craving it is that my genes have programmed me to.”

My logical brain knows what’s going on but my emotional brain does NOT give two FUCKS.

This pattern happens like once a week on average. (This week it was particularly bad.) It made me realize two things:

It doesn’t matter how much you know intellectually. Your emotions are extremely powerful and will highjack your logical brain if you’re not careful.

I thrive under tight accountability. If I’m left alone to my own devices. I don’t have enough integrity to keep commitments to myself yet.

I drew this picture to illustrate what happens. [Coping Vs. Thriving]

instant grat
This illustrates an important reality. Your life will often boil down to two choices. You either cope or thrive in life.

Most people (including myself) often go for choice A which is to cope. We rather cope because doing so stimulates the dopamine centers of our brain. It FEELS so good. But it never leaves us satisfied. EVER! The only ways instant gratification can be satisfying is if it is a reward for doing something that required discipline.

If you are going to take away one thing from this article, let this be it: The only way instant gratification can contribute to your growth is if it is a reward for behavior that requires discipline or challenge.

There is literally no good reason to settle for instant gratification. All of the research I’ve done. All of my life experience points to that fact. Not once out of the hundreds of times that I gave into instant gratification did I become stronger. Not once, did I feel better after eating ice-cream or laying around.

Warning: There is a time for resting and being a bit lazy. But don’t make it constant and DO NOT BE A SLAVE TO IT. Plan it out in advance and engage in it with discipline.

You can’t solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them – Albert Einstein

For you to put an end to instant gratification/coping behavior you will need to change your level of thinking. Start thinking bigger about life. Start seeing yourself as a super-hero. Start wondering who you can be at your peak potential.

Then set up ruthless accountability. You will need time to rewire your brain and create new habits. You might need long amounts of discipline/accountability. It might take three years of non-stop accountability for you to create the habit to do it by yourself. It might take less depending on your circumstances.

Just remember, it boils down to you realizing that you are 100% responsible for whatever happens. Your brain does NOT GIVE A FUCK about you. Nature laughs last. Millions of people die unjustly every year due to diseases, war, and poverty. This means that you aren’t some special little snowflake. The world does NOT revolve around you. If you fuck up in life, NOBODY WILL COME AND SAVE YOU. You’ll be on your deathbed feeling sorry for yourself and you’ll die full of regret. (Most people will)


I realize this sounds harsh. This is Spartan Ownership after all. There is a balance: You must know when/how to reward yourself too. I like to reward myself with one day per week when I can eat some junk food and watch a movie or two. Keyword: reward. It means that the whole week I was living with fierce intensity. Every single day, move up. In this race, the turtle wins, not the hare.

Today, I’m back on track. I hope you are too.


Maximillian Giamarco


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Maximillian Giamarco

Entrepreneur, coach, and author. Spartan Ownership is centered on providing groundbreaking content, products, and services tailored to improving men's lives. Main areas of focus include masculine lifestyle design, character development, self-discipline, MMA, women, mind and body optimization, and more!

Reader Interactions


  1. Mathew Robertson says

    This is relevant for me as I’ve been in that same rut for a few weeks now, I’m starting to actually wonder how much we can listen to our mind when it comes to DOING THE SHIT YOU KNOW HAS TO BE DONE. It isn’t until the moment of success comes that your brain will reward you with positive chemicals, up until that point it’s constantly pulling you down it seems.

    Anyways, fuck it. I got up earlier than I usually do today and signed up at a gym close by, I’m going to try and work out 5 times a week from here on out.

    • Author says

      Good point Mathew. Our brains don’t care about our actualization and success as men. Most people gave into the natural course of their own brains and thus are unsuccessful and unhealthy. Logic beats impulse.


  1. […] This seductive voice acts as a siren during times of discomfort and stress. It promises a break from all of the pain and discomfort associated with striving for greatness. It promises to finally stop the loneliness that you feel in exchange for a feeling of belonging — a feeling of belonging to the herd. If you’re not careful, you WILL be lured into this trap. […]

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