The Marshmallow Test

Several years ago, a class teacher gave chocolates to each of his students and said, “I am going to see the Principal and will be back in 15 minutes. Wait till I come back before you start eating the chocolate.”

And he left for the Principal’s room.

For few moments, there was silence in the class. Children were staring at the chocolates in their hands and striving very hard not to eat the same.

Fifteen minutes passed and the class-teacher enter the class. He looked around. Except seven students, everyone was relishing their chocolate.

The teacher quietly noted the names of those seven students in his diary and read out their names to the class.

That teacher’s name was Prof. Walter Mischel.

Several years later, Professor Walter referred his diary and made conscious efforts to locate those seven students.

After a lot of effort, he was able to find them and what was heartening to know that each of those seven students were highly successful in their respective fields.

Then Prof. Walter also searched for the remaining classmates, who had eaten the chocolates without waiting for him to come back. And he found out the most of them were leading an ordinary lives and some just were just surviving in meager income, some were even addicted to drugs, alcohol etc.

Later, Professor Walter summarized the findings of his research beautifully as follows:

“If you can’t even wait for 15 minutes (and want instant gratification) then you will never be able to achieve greater results in your life.”

This theory become world famous in the name of Marshmallow Test as that was the name of the chocolate he gave.

Choosing to have something now might feel good, but making the effort to have discipline and manage your impulses can result in bigger or better rewards in the future. Over time, delaying gratification will improve your self-control and ultimately help you achieve your long-term goals faster.

Wishing you a Very Happy Monday