40 Years of Stanford Research Found That People with This One Quality Are More Likely to Succeed
In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel conducted the Marshmallow Experiment. It went like this.
Children (aged 4-9) were left in a room with 1 Marshmallow. The researcher said, if they waited 15 minutes, they would receive 2 Marshmallows. The researcher left the children alone in the room for 15 minutes.
Some children waited for 15 minutes to receive the 2 Marshmallows, some did not.
The interesting part of the study came several years later, when these children grew up as adults. The researchers conducted follow up studies for over 40 years and tracked each child’s progress in a number of areas.
The results showed that the children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having
1. higher academic scores,
2. lower levels of substance abuse,
3. lesser marriages ending in divorce,
4. better responses to stress,
5. more job stability and higher career trajectories
6. generally better scores in a range of other life measures.
Resilience is defined by the ability to remain patient, stay the course & continue working, even when the going is tough.
Important question to ask ourselves:
1. Are we able to resist the first Marshmallow and reap the rewards of delayed gratification?
2. Do we have the patience to stay the course for the grand prize?
3. Are we resilient to the pressures of instant gratification that will often tempt us?