After my last entry lambasting the indefinite procrastination of pleasure, it is worth discussing the importance of delayed gratification. This is the deliberate postponement of satisfaction in order to maximise eventual pleasure, and can apply to many fields, although it was brought to mind today by my intent to open the pictured bottle of Chateau Soutard 1990 over dinner midweek.
Fine wine is a good case study for edification of principal difference between procrastination and delayed gratification. Good wine tends to improve in the bottle over time until it reaches a maturity capable of delivering a peak experience, before gradually fading away. Every wine will have its own moment of maximal pleasure although the exact timing and duration of this window will vary according to the wine, and according to the tastes of the drinker.
Being able to resist uncorking too soon allows one’s desire and aspirations for the first glass to rise. This heightens the pleasure of finally reaching that day, and so should add an extra layer of piquancy to the wine itself. By contrast, the procrastinator will fear to ever uncork the bottle, always wondering if another year is needed before the wine is at its best. Perhaps the bottle is never drunk at all, but even if it is, the procrastinator finds the flavour soured and the fruit long gone.
Decide when to reap the harvest of life, but then act decisively. Delay with purpose, not fear, for the maximum possible pleasure.