In a study conducted at Stanford University children were left in a room, each with a marshmallow, and given a choice of eating it then or fifteen minutes later, when they were promised a marshmallow as an extra reward for waiting.
Imagine you are your five year old self – what would you do in that situation?
Two thirds of the children ate the marshmallow – some immediately, some after many minutes had passed.
The study is clearly an examination of the children’s ability to delay their gratification, which is a key trait in creating wealth.
The significance of the study was shown when the progress of the children was analysed over a decade later. The one third of the children who had held out the fifteen minutes to get their reward were assessed to have become more successful adults.
The study and its implications for success are discussed in the book “Don’t eat the marshmallow … yet!” by Joachim de Posada.
Watch Joachim de Posada briefly discussing the study in this video (6 mins). It’s worth it for the hilarity of watching the children resist eating the marshmallow. (It could be an entrant in “Funniest Home Videos”)
So, Easter Sunday may be the only day it is ok to eat chocolate for breakfast but do you have any eggs left today, just three days later?
To increase your ability to create and keep wealth start by saving some of your Easter eggs.
What do you think of the study and its thoughts on delayed gratification? Share your reactions inc the comments below.