We all know that success requires a lot of traits, and skills.
Willpower, discipline, determination, perseverance, self belief, confidence, and all that.
But the one you’ve probably heard the least, yet one of the most important trait is: DELAYED GRATIFICATION.
What is delayed gratification?
Well essentially delayed gratification is when you delay a thing you can enjoy now in the short term, so that you can enjoy the reward at a later time, multiplied greatly.
- Watching TV – Easy in the moment and but there’s no great reward.
- Workout – Hard in the moment, but there’s a very huge reward.
- Spending money – Easy in the moment, not a very great reward.
- Saving money – Hard in the moment, but will make you rich in the long term.
These are only just the tiniest examples of delayed gratification, as gratification, short term, and long term thinking are happening in our lives all the time.
One famous experiment you might have heard of is the ‘Marshmallow Experiment’
This is an experiment first led in 1972 by Stanford University to see if people (kids) who can delay a reward now, to get a bigger reward later, has any connections with success or not.
Before we move on, do you think there’s a connection?
I do. Do you? Let’s find out.
So this is what happened.
Kids were sat on a chair, with a single piece of marshmallow in front of them. The experimenter told them that they have 2 choices.
- They can eat 1 now.
- Not to eat it now, and wait for the experimenter to come back and get another one.
So apparently the kids who used their iron will in not eating the single marshmallow, delaying a gratification for a bigger reward later, studies have found that later on in their lives, they were more successful than the kids who didn’t delay gratification. By success they meant their income, their happiness, their love life, and all of that.
So if a decision regarding a tiny ass white fluff can change the entire course of your life and success, what do you think happens with even bigger actions like watching p*rn, f*pping, eating fast food, not working out, binging tv shows?
It can literally change your life.
So whenever you want to do something in the short term that will give you a reward now but hard in the future, and not something that will be hard now, but way better in the future, remind yourself of the marshmallow experiment.
The smallest of choice, such as eating a marshmallow, can mean the difference between success and mediocrity.
Which will you choose?