The Must-Know Proven Predictor of Success

As girl bosses, we are constantly looking for ways to better ourselves and achieve great things. Go go go is basically our mantra, and success is something we will incessantly strive for. We all have different definitions of success - that goes without being said. Some measure success by measure of money, happiness, physical strength, and so on. But is there one factor that transcends all of these definitions, and facilitates success in health, work, and life overall? Research says there is, in fact, a practice that has been proven to deliver success across the board. Ready for it? Just wait 😉.

First, a little background. Way back in the good old days of the 1960’s, Stanford psychologist, Walter Mischel, led a series of experiments known as the Marshmallow Experiments. Sounds like fluff, but the findings were extremely powerful. Let me break it down for you: Mischel’s participants were four-year-old children, each of whom he’d leave in a room all alone with a big, sugary marshmallow. He told each child that he would leave them in the room with the marshmallow for 15 minutes, and that if the marshmallow was still there when he came back, the child would receive another one to eat. Two out of three of the children ate the marshmallow once Mischel left the room, and one out of three were able to hold out for the extra reward.
About 15 years later, there was a follow-up study on the children who participated in the original marshmallow experiment. This follow up study found that 100% of the children who waited to eat the marshmallow were successful. They had better grades, higher SAT scores, great relationships with those in their lives, and bright futures in general. This was not the case for the children who ate the marshmallow right away. Many of these children either had poor grades, dropped out of school, or weren’t going to college. The experiment has been replicated throughout the years, and in different countries, yet the results are the same. The factor that predicted success in this experiment? Delayed gratification.

Delayed gratification can be a hard practice to master, especially in our digital world of instant gratification (don’t pretend that you don’t love watching your Insta likes roll in). So how can we apply this concept to our own lives? Most of us would have the self-control to resist a marshmallow in front of us (or at least I’d hope), but when we look at other situations of temptation that we’re constantly faced with, it may not be as easy to delay the gratification. Exhibit A: the other day I was doing my thang on the treadmill, so not feeling the last half mile I promised myself I’d do. Instant gratification would’ve involved me cutting my run short. My breathing would’ve slowed down, the burning in my chest would’ve stopped, and I would’ve instantly felt better. However, finishing out the run was better for me in the long-term, not only because it built up my physical endurance, but because it strengthened my self-discipline.

What about you? Where have you been cutting corners in your life? Where can you hold out a little to benefit yourself in the long run? At some point in your quest to achieve your goals, you will be faced with an easier choice of some sort. While the easier choice may seem really appealing, the caliber of your success may depend on your ability to practice self-discipline, and follow through on the more difficult choice. Impulsiveness is great, and yes, it’s important to #treatyourself, but by practicing the art of delaying gratification here and there, you’ll end up being much more successful in all of your endeavors!

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Haven’t you delayed your gratification for long enough when it comes to ordering some Anjé? I think so too! Let’s fix that.


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