Money, connections, luck, a rocket-high IQ, sure, these are all helpful things to have in life, but there is one distinct factor behind most success stories: self-discipline. Self-discipline, or the desire to work hard today in order to reach a goal tomorrow, is a crucial part of succeeding in life. We may know this, but it sure is hard to remember sometimes! That extra piece of pizza smells amazing! That purse would look so good with those new shoes! That essay can wait until tomorrow! The coach won't mind if I miss a couple of practices! Our problem usually is that we want what feels good today, without considering tomorrow.
Let's take all that money you earned by shoveling snow this winter. Did you.... A) save it for something really special and fantastic?! or B) spend it the minute you got it on candy and soda? If you chose option A then you not only are probably playing with a great new X-box (or something even cooler), but you should also feel very proud of yourself! In the scientific world, they call this waiting- delayed gratification. Basically, delay of gratification refers to the ability to put off getting an immediate reward in order to gain a better reward later.
Our TED Talk today deals with just that topic. Joachim de Posada shares his experiment about delayed gratification and how it can be used to predict success. Joachim focuses his study on 4-year-olds. He gives the kids one marshmallow and tells them that if they wait 15 minutes without eating their marshmallow they will get two marshmallows!!. Easy, right? Why eat one, when you can get two?? Well, it's not so easy if you are 4!! Check out the link here to view this adorable talk.
That marshmallow looks sooooo good!
Too often people want the reward now, instead of waiting for something better! When something good comes their way, they don't bother to think about the effect it might have on tomorrow. Learning the secret to delayed gratification, or working towards a big reward instead of settling for an immediate smaller reward, makes a huge impact on how successful we are. Instead of spending your money on little things, save for something big! Instead of blowing off practice or training, work hard so you can succeed on the field. Instead of flunking classes and limiting your future choices, be excellent and watch the opportunities open up!
Don't get caught up in just the immediate "marshmallows" in front of you now. Wait for the bigger prize!