Focus in raising children on the need to enjoy every age period regardless of its requirements (Pixels)

Some tend to postpone the realization of their dreams and aspirations to an unspecified point in the future, which is known as the "deferred life syndrome."

People with this syndrome often spend their lives waiting, living their daily lives without any real sense of purpose or direction, feeling dissatisfied as if they are stuck in a ditch, and lacking motivation.

What causes this syndrome, also known as "one day syndrome" or "delayed life saturation"? And how does it affect personal and professional life?

"Deferred life" syndrome is a negative thought pattern that leads an individual to postpone rest and enjoy living in the present (Pixels)

What is the "deferred life syndrome"?

Psychiatrist Dr. Mazen defines the "deferred life syndrome" interview as a negative thought pattern that leads an individual to postpone rest and enjoy living in the present until future goals are achieved, which are often long-term and difficult to achieve.

He adds that this syndrome bequeaths to the individual a feeling that he is living in a vicious circle of responsibility and endless pressures, "so his life passes without feeling it, even if he achieves all or most of his goals, and produces a feeling of heartbreak and regret for the time he missed out on his life."

Not a psychological or mental disorder

According to the psychologist, this pattern is not in itself considered a psychological or mental disorder, but it may be one of the most causative factors for these disorders, such as depression, anxiety, drug abuse, psychotropic substances, and others.

This pattern of thought may be found in all age groups, "but it increases in the age period between 20 and 50 years, as this period is usually full of events and fateful changes in the life of the individual, and involves many academic, functional, social and emotional responsibilities."

Interview: Deferred Life Syndrome Spread 20-50 Years Eventful and Fateful Changes (Al Jazeera)

What causes the "deferred life syndrome"?

This intellectual pattern results in the individual's unconscious mind as a result of several reasons - according to an interview - most notably:

  • The influence of the collective mind: This affects the individual since childhood by deluding him that he will rest and enjoy life when he grows up and becomes productive, independent of his decision, able to study and work for self-realization, able to be emotionally attached so that he is not alone.
  • Self-esteem and self-confidence problems: The individual feels unworthy of what he has achieved or has in the present, and always seeks to achieve more and more in an attempt to compensate for the chronic feeling of inferiority he feels.
  • Focusing on materialism more than spirituality: where the happiness and pleasure of the individual becomes associated with quantity rather than quality, and depends on his money, power and fame, which usually have an addictive effect far from contentment and satisfaction.
  • Fast-paced lifestyle: The world lives a fast lifestyle with complex requirements, which leaves the individual with an illusory feeling that he is always behind and needs to make a greater and faster effort to keep pace with the constant changes.

Tips for overcoming the syndrome

To get rid of this pattern of thought and modify it, the psychiatrist advises following these steps:

  • Recognize the negativity of this thinking and increase individual and collective awareness of its harms.
  • Focusing in raising children on the need to enjoy each age period, regardless of its requirements, and modifying the concept of happiness to be a decision rather than waiting.
  • Intellectual and religious awareness of the need to balance between focusing on this life and the hereafter, not to be one at the expense of the other.
  • Not linking self-esteem and self-confidence to achievement alone, but to sufficiency, contentment and satisfaction with what exists, even if it is relatively little.

    Some people treat pain and suffering as an incentive to work on living the life they dream of (Pixels)

Not enjoying the present

For his part, the family counselor, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah, says that the three letters that make up the word "will" have an anesthetic effect on the lives of some in an amazing way, as people tend - sometimes - to postpone, and this tendency in general is a natural human process, but the postponement, which results in the demolition of the present and not enjoying the components and details of life, and this is what is said about the "deferred life syndrome".

He explains, "There are many reasons for the postponement, and most of them revolve around the responsibility that results from the decision to implement the future life, as the required plan, the required responsibilities and the required effort, all have effects, which is to get out of the psychological safety zone that a person lives, to the area of work, seriousness, diligence and responsibility, and these require a degree of effort to obtain the required form of life.

All or nothing

"On the other hand, there are some people who are not satisfied with the pain of the present, but they need more pain to move to find the right life they want, and these we see in many areas of life, such as jobs, marriage and relationships within the family system," Abdullah said.

"There are also people who don't imagine that life can be faltering at some stages, so any immediate stumble they think after life will correct itself without any effort from them. Others, on the other hand, are very idealistic and believe that all the effort required is not enough, whatever it may be, to start making a good future life."

"They, too, have their lives all about everything or nothing," Abdullah said.

Abdullah: A person who tends to postpone in order to be satisfied with the pleasure of the present needs the skills of planning and postponing immediate gratification (Al Jazeera)

Important skills

To get out of this situation, or at least reduce it, Counselor Abdullah advises that the very ideal person should employ his qualities "inclination towards idealism" in his interest, "The ideal is a very observant person, if he employs this intensity in observing the negatives, he will see a lot and continue to postpone, so he must employ this trait in seeing the positives on which he builds a good immediate life."

As for the person who tends to postpone out of sufficiency with the pleasure of the present, "he needs the skill of planning first, and the skill of postponing immediate gratification, which plays an important role in the psychological habits formed by man for himself, he must postpone meeting non-urgent desires to form new psychological habits."

"In general, a person must raise his level in the skill of commitment to things, punctuality, commitment to tasks and others. This skill can be generalized to the point where a person is committed to the desire to have a stable and good instant life, so that this life is part of a more inclusive, spacious and happy life."

Postponing goals can lead to lack of self-confidence and negatively affect the decision-making mechanism (Pixels)

Common effects of "deferred life" syndrome

EQ for C has published some of the common effects of deferred life syndrome on personal and professional life, including:

  • Lack of achievement: Postponing one's goals and aspirations can lead to a sense of emptiness in personal and professional life, which can lead to boredom, apathy, and even depression.
  • Missed opportunities: When people postpone achieving their goals and aspirations, they miss out on opportunities that may have been available to them, including career opportunities, opportunities for personal growth, and even relationships.
  • Stagnation: When people postpone their goals they get stuck in their current situation, feeling as if they are not making progress in their personal or professional lives, and this leads to a feeling of stagnation and even despair.
  • Lack of confidence: Postponing goals can lead to a lack of confidence in a person's decision-making abilities and skills, and this makes it more difficult to take risks and seek new opportunities, which further exacerbates the postponement cycle.

Source : Al Jazeera + Websites