Remember the Marshmallow Study?

The Stanford marshmallow experiment in the 60’s and 70’s on delayed gratification.

Kindergarteners were seated in front of a marshmallow. Then the grown up in charge said, “I have to leave for a few minutes and when I return if you haven’t eaten the marshmallow, you may have another one.” Studies following these children found the ones who waited became much more successful as adults than the ones who immediately ate the marshmallow. So what does this have to do with commitment? What does commitment have to do with owning your magnificence, with thriving in all areas of your life?

Not sure what I would have done, as I am not fond of marshmallows and never have been unless they were part of s’mores with the graham crackers and chocolate and cooked over a campfire and then I couldn’t get enough. But I’m also impatient and have a certain irreverence and always have for authority figures. Most likely I would have eaten the marshmallow.

I am impatient. I want to lose the weight three days after I change my eating habits, to gain muscle and flat abs after a week (or less) of working out. A wise marketing friend long ago told me to pick my business wisely because I would tire of what I was saying long before others even got what I did. Why do Coke and Pepsi have to advertise so much? Surely we are all aware of their existence?

The Value of Commitment

This is the year my logical brain has recognized and accepted that old phrase, “In it to win it.” I’m here not giving up. I’m willing to do what it takes in both my personal and professional life to meet my goals. I don’t want to be at the same place next year. I’m committed.

There is still that impatient kid in us. If it’s not working yet – quickly almost instantaneously, We want to give it up, move on to something else. Try something new. We’re bored. It’s not fun. We’re after the next Shiny Object. The old me would have given up, gotten discouraged and moved on. I know I’m not the only one.

Drive by Daniel Pink addresses the hard part, the learning curve and the necessity to either call it off and never get started or the necessity to stay for the long term because it takes too much work just to get into the game. To paraphrase Pink, if you not in it for the long term, don’t even bother to start.

In business or relationships, it may be hard for us to stay at the first sign of trouble. Does this mean it’s worth pursuing and we should dig our heels in and stay or give it up and pursue something else? Only you can tell what’s right for you. Are you committed?

Would you have eaten the marshmallow or patiently wait? What will you do now?

Are you committed to your goals?

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember the tortoise and the hare. Well, I’m the tortoise, not the hare and I’m in it to win it. There is value in commitment.

Photo Credit: Hayley Bouchard via Compfight cc

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