In the famous Marshmallow Test, 4 year olds were given the choice of instant gratification via immediate consumption of a marshmallow or waiting 15 minutes and getting two. A third speedily ate the marshmallow, a third waited an average of 5 minutes before succumbing to temptation and a third, the ‘Waiters’, lasted the full 15 minutes, one young lady even managing to nap! The children classified as ‘Waiters’ went on to have higher SAT scores, be thinner, have fewer substance abuse issues, handle stress better and in general exhibit better Life Management Skills.
Walter Mischel, the psychologist who devised the experiment, recently authored “The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control.”
“The secret to self control is to cool the hot system sufficiently
so that the cool system can snap into place;
then the individual are able to think constructively and
from a distance rather than automatically and reflexively…
For people having troubles resisting fudge cake for dessert,
imagine that a cockroach had a little bite of it before it came out and desire goes away.
The key to self-control & self-regulation is how the temptation is mentally represented or thought about.
Say to a little girl: ‘While you’re waiting for those two cookies, you can make believe that they’re not real.
Make believe that it’s just a picture; put a frame around it in your head.’
With that tool, I’ve seen children wait 15 minutes.”
– Walter Mischel, Tribune interview by Christine VanDeVelde
“When we direct our thoughts properly, we can control our emotions.” –W. Clement Stone, 1902-2002, Believe & Achieve
“The secret of success is learning how to use pain & pleasure instead of having pain & pleasure use you. If you don’t, life controls you.”- Anthony Robbins
“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” – Napoleon Hill, 1883-1970, Think & Grow Rich
“Learning when you want to eat the marshmallow is just as important as developing the skills that allow you to resist the marshmallow. A life lived with too much delay of gratification can be as sad as one without enough of it.” – Walter Mischel, The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control
As always, I share what I most want/need to learn.