Forget about patience, carrots and sticks, I did something and I want a reward and success right at this moment. The exact “I Want It All & I Want It Now” mindset got me in pretty deep trouble. And I’m sure you too at some point of your life.
In order to accomplish great things, patience is the first rule. The second we start feeling anxious is the moment when we lose control. You probably have heard about doing “one step at a time”. Well, that’s actually one of the most valuable key ways of success.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Delayed gratification and Marshmallow Experiment
A very important skill is learning how to delay gratification, which I truly believe parents should teach more often to children. It’s about believing that “something good” will come if you can only wait for it while working on the here & now.
You know, I used to be an “I Want It All & I Want It Now” kind of person. And guess what, it just got me into trouble. I didn’t know how to say NO to material desires. That’s how I started going over my own limits, just because I had an idea that I wanted something.
You may have heard about the Marshmallow Experiment. It goes like this: a kid receives a marshmallow and is told that he can either eat it now or later; it’s up to him. They also tell the kid that, if he waits, he will get another marshmallow. This teaches children to be patient.
Delayed gratification works in fact for everything in life. For example, if you want to lose weight and you have a mouthwatering cheeseburger in front of you, saying NO and abstaining from eating it is what leads to a healthier you.
Believe it or not, but saying no can be just as easy as saying yes.
Use patience and wait for results!
It’s you who makes the instant choice in favor of the gratification that will come after. Let’s say you are trying to quit smoking. The next cigarette is always the hardest. But you know that saying NO to that cigarette is what will be good for you in time.
The point about delayed gratification is not just waiting in vain. If you are able to be disciplined instead of only doing what’s easy, there is a bigger chance that you will be successful in life because you are learning how to wait for results.
It’s scientifically proven!
Writer James Clear explains how does the experiment work and its magnitudes in the children’s lives. The children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse and generally better scores in a range of other life measures.
Ask yourself: in your life, what’s your own marshmallow? Focus on it, especially on the goal you are trying to achieve. You must be brave to do what needs to be done even if, for the moment, you are not particularly fond of the idea of waiting for another marshmallow.
But in the meantime, you work on what you have and that’s how delayed gratification will eventually come. Just … Wait for it …
Originally published at fail.coach on June 6, 2016.
Author: Miha Matlievski