I can discern the answer by your response to the following questions.
Do you carry credit debt? Is your car financed? Are your big-boy toys -- motorcycle, jet ski, boat, RV, camper, snowmobile -- financed? Is your body tattooed, pierced, or branded? Have you posted an intimate video of you and your significant other online? Do you have frequent emotional outbursts? Are you obese? Have you committed a violent crime?
Did you graduate (high school or college), marry, and procreate in that order? Do you work? Do you have a savings and brokerage account? Do you have a retirement account that you contribute to habitually?
If you answered no to most of the first seven questions and yes to most of the following four, I'll infer, with a high degree of accuracy, that your time preference is low. You have demonstrated an ability to delay gratification. You value the future. You prefer that time work for you, not against you.
Time is a moving thing that always moves forward. If you value the present to the detriment of the future, you will discover soon enough that time once friendly -- the time of your youth -- can be time outright hostile to the older version of you.
When you were a teenage, you could down a whole pizza and a six-pack of beer nightly with relative impunity. Your waistline remained constant through the teens.
But time is a moving thing. You soon entered your twenties. If your time preference remained high, you discovered you were no longer immune from the waistline-expanding effect of downing pizza and beer nightly. The pants with the thirty-two-inch waist became binding when buttoned. You soon found that thirty-six inches offer edthe comfort thirty-two inches offered only three or four years earlier.
Maintaining your teenage waistline past your teenage years means modifying your diet -- eating less, more nutritious fare, and increasing the intervals between when the fare is eaten. Maintaining your teenage high-time-preference ways into your forties ensures an obese body. It increases the probability of suffering from diseases associated with carrying around a load of excess baggage. The more time passes, the more you remain the same, the more the waistline expands.
And as the years pass, the less likely you are to return to your former svelte self. If you are the exception, If you can harness the discipline to transform your body to that of its youth, your body will be less forgiving. Skin continually loses its elasticity. The skin of a forty-year-old who loses a hundred pounds is sure to conjure comparisons to a Shar Pei.
The benefits of lowering your time preference extend beyond vanity. Low-time preference increases your odds of generating higher income, creating more wealth, living a more satisfied life, and finding lasting love.
Work and leisure compete for your time. Leisure is the preferable default position for most people. Slaphappy or stressed? The former trumps the later for the great unwashed. Leisure is a high-time-preference default. The problem is leisure consumes income. It doesn't produce. No one will pay you to lounge on Seven-Mile beach.
Only work generates income; saved income can then be invested in appreciating assets or income-producing investments.
The income your work provides is the most important factor in accumulating wealth. The more income your work provides, the more money you can invest in appreciating assets and income-producing investments, the more wealth you will accumulate.
This is to state the obvious, but as I show in a previous post titled "Embrace the Grind, It's Your Only Hope" time working with your investments is the great wealth generator. Wealth accumulates almost imperceptibly for years until it hits critical mass, and then it compounds by leaps and bounds.
Lowering your time preference raises your appeal to the opposite sex. The low-time-preference person will have established healthy habits; he or she will have better hygiene and grooming, superior manners, and well-manicured property. Work is required to maintain you and your property.
The low-time-preference person will also be more inclined to allow a relationship develop organically. The high-time-preference person, in contrast, is the one eager to fast-track the romance.
The high-time-preference person will crave continual contact. He or she will be perceived as clingy. The low-time-preference person, in contrast, will be able to maintain distance. He or she will foment a longing in the other person. After all, absence makes the heart grow founder because absence not only increases desire, it heightens the sense of anticipation. It increases attraction.
The earlier you can lower your time preference, the better. The teenage years offer the optimal time to lower time preference. Your brain is at its most malleable. Beneficial habits are easier to form and maintain.
Rethink your time preference. Perhaps you'll reconsider the tattoo with a serpent writhing up your neck, uploading a rutting session between you and whoever, inhaling a second Big Mac, texting your new love hourly, or financing a $50,000 Lexus RX350 on a $60,000 salary. Perhaps you'll consider the future.