How long can you wait to eat the marshmallow?

Back in the 60’s, Walter Mischel ran a study on delayed gratification. He sat a bunch of different 3 years olds alone in a room with a marshmallow on a plate. He told them that they can have one marshmallow or if they could sit there with the marshmallow and not eat it, he would be back in 15 minutes to give them a second marshmallow. But if the marshmallow is gone, no extra marshmallow.

Some of the kids eat the marshmallow and some of them wait to get a second one. Years later, they tracked down these kids from the study to see how they were doing.

It turns out the ones that waited ended up getting into a more prestigious school, had better SAT scores, better BMI scores, and were better or happier in every category you can imagine.

This idea of holding these two juxtaposed thoughts: do I want one marshmallow or do I want two marshmallows; is enough to find success. It’s about dealing with tension for a better result and not filling it every time it comes. This is not something we are born with but it can be learned.

3 thoughts on “How long can you wait to eat the marshmallow?

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