My perspective #35: “Wait, what?! Wait?” Let me explain.

I had come across a psychological thriller called The Marshmallow Experiment. 

This cruel and unusual experiment is where you leave an insatiably curious toddler alone to self-govern. 

*a collective gulp*

In the experiment, the little whippersnappers have just two options: either immediately chomp down on the marshmallow and satisfy their craving for sweet, mushy deliciousness or deny themselves for an unspecified amount of time with the hope of getting 2 marshmallows afterwards. 

What a conundrum. 

The findings reveal who is able to delay themselves the sweet taste of immediate gratification or who recoils from the bitter taste of disappointment from not showing restraint and waiting.

I decided to give it a whirl. I put my 3-year-old toddler through the crucible. I’m proud to say (surprisingly) after showing the attribute of self-control, my little turkey “earned” TWO whole mints from Olive Garden (we didn’t have any marshmallows). 

It was really cool (and funny) to watch him reason and squirm.

I’m definitely an advocate (I mean, who isn’t, really?) of delaying immediate gratification, but I also try to be a disciplined practitioner of delaying gratification too. 

I have found in doing so, it simply bears more fruit. 

I have found that stepping back, taking a breath, assessing potential adverse long-term effects, questioning validity (or FOMO), but yet not putting things off, has a better yield on return than carelessly doing whatever, eating whatever or saying whatever. 

It is indeed a discipline. 

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve hung up the phone plenty times wishing I could take back how I spoke to a telemarketer. To all you telemarketers out there named Bob, I’m sorry.

So, listen, next time you’re in a position to act now, or react quickly to the situation or outwork and out-think your peers, just remember: two marshmallows (or mints) are — always — better than one.

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