Marshmallow Test

With no exaggeration, I can say that the most anxious moment I’ve had as a parent is when I gave Beck the marshmallow test at around 4yo. “Would you like to have one marshmallow now, or two marshmallows later?”

Luckily, he picked “two marshmallows later” with only a little hesitation. It’s a no brainer if you think in “big picture” terms. It’s a huge indicator of how successful someone can be. (There are very real socioeconomic implications of the test, which are very worthy of another discussion.) For whatever reason, delayed gratification pays off bigly in life.

I’ve sort of lived by “short term pain for long term gain” my entire life. I mowed lawns until I could buy a motorcycle. I raked leaves until I could buy a sweet pair of Bo Jacksons. I ran a concession stand until I could buy other stuff. When you understand that you only need to endure very short term discomfort in order to get whatever-the-heck-you-want, life starts to make sense.

Watching people succeed and fail throughout life, this has been a constant. Those who are willing to do what’s painful generally succeed. Those who aren’t, generally don’t (or succeed at a lesser level.) At a base level, if you’re willing to look past your temporary discomfort in order to achieve, you will generally be successful.

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