Day 4 – Delay Gratification, Why It’s Important to Success
Not that long ago, my youngest son, who is 13 years old, had 6 teeth removed at once. I would also like to note that he was not put under anesthesia for this procedure. I’m not sure I know many adults that could have handled this. Half way through, with 3 teeth already out, the dentist offered to stop and reschedule to extract the remaining 3 teeth. We allowed my son to decide what he wanted to do, and he said he wanted to proceed and continue with the removal.
Later that evening, I was reflecting on the events of the day and how proud I was of my son. He was obviously uncomfortable and in pain, but he put off the relief of being done, to finish what was to be accomplished.
In today’s society, we expect everything to happen quickly and we want our rewards now. Our pizza needs to be delivered in less than 20 minutes, our online purchases now appear in a day or less, people on the road don’t drive fast enough and worst of all, the internet is too SLOW! People think that becoming an overnight sensation is the only way to go. While this might happen for a few, the majority of us need to work hard for a while before we attain the level of success that we are striving for. To be honest, most of those people that look like they got lucky, probably put in a lot of work before they got to where they are today. If that is the case, then what was it that kept them going, when their hard work didn’t seem like it would amount to anything?
The answer may lie in a 1960s study that Walter Mischel and his graduate students carried out at Standford University’s Bing Nursery School. “The Marshmallow Test” was conducted with a group of small children. These children were given a marshmallow treat and told that they could eat it immediately, or wait and if they didn’t eat the marshmallow they would be rewarded with a larger reward. Then the child was left alone with the treat, for up to 20 minutes and each child’s reaction was recorded. These children were followed into adulthood and it was noted that those that were able to delay gratification and wait for the larger reward fared better in adulthood than those that ate the marshmallow immediately.
My son, was able to set aside the physical pain he was experiencing because he knew that the future reward of not having to come back was more important. I hope that this correlates to him having a great future.
How well are you able to put off the rewards of tomorrow? I am not discouraging anyone from owning your own business, but learning how to delay gratification might be something you can work on. Running your own business can be a wonderful rewarding experience, but most of your days are going to be spent wondering if you made the correct choice. It’s those people that can set aside the struggles of today to get to the rewards of tomorrow that will continue to stay in business.
Categories: Life Discussion