The desire for sex is a powerful motivator. In fact, after the desire to survive, it is probably the most powerful desire we experience-at least from puberty through middle age anyway. It’s not just desires for survival and sex that well up in us either. As every parent knows we are hardwired with all manner of desires that trigger impulses for instant gratification. Next to keeping our children safe and healthy, the most important task of parenting is to train our children to delay gratification, to teach them self-discipline and impulse control.
While parents have been training children to restrain their desires for as far back in history as we can see, it’s only been recently that science has been able to show, conclusively, that the ability to delay gratification is the single most important skill that contributes to success and happiness in later life. So, why have we increasingly and collectively been embracing indulgent lifestyles in this country?