Deferred Gratification

On occasion I am asked what 5-year project is about.  There are a number of responses I might offer. I could say that 5YP is about developing a gentleman’s wardrobe.  I might suggest that it is primarily about style. At many levels 5YP is an ongoing discussion of masculinity.  However, I think my preferred response is that 5YP is about deferred gratification.

A 5-Year Project is not just about building a gentleman’s wardrobe or about masculine style, though these are clearly far from unimportant to its focus.  Nonetheless, the idea of building up your wardrobe over a 5-year period is clearly an exercise in deferred gratification.


For me, such an exercise is a worthwhile undertaking in itself. In a world which is overly focused upon the instant and disposable there is value in reorienting ourselves by taking time to pursue something that is most certainly not instant gratification.

Moreover, I suspect that we value what we have just a little more if it has taken years of planning and working, saving and prioritising, in order to have it.


For someone who is an aficionado of fine clothing, then, a 5 year project, which includes deferred gratification as an essential component, not only helps to reorient our values, it is also likely to heighten our appreciation of the clothes which have patiently been added to our wardrobe over a period of years.

Perhaps most significantly, it is a transferable skill. Developing our capacity for deferred gratification can only bring positive benefits to our pursuit of goals, whether small or large.  We learn not to give up what we want most for what we want now.

And you thought 5YP was just about style….


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