FRI: The Power of a Marshmallow

In the 1960s, Stanford University conducted a landmark study that tried to quantify the cause and effect of our need for immediate gratification. The study examined whether or not we as humans are fundamentally willing to wait longer for something better, or take a lesser reward now.

The test went something like this.

Children were lead into a room and given a treat of their choice (a marshmallow was one of the choices). They could select it and eat it, no questions asked. However, they wanted things to get interesting, so they offered the child a second treat up front if they could wait a full fifteen minutes before eating the first one.

Right off the bat, a third of the children ate the treat immediately. Just scarfed it down. Second treat be damned. Of the remaining two thirds who waited, only a third made it the full fifteen minutes. Those who failed tried a number of strategies from turning around to covering their eyes, but for the overwhelming majority (two thirds), the power of instant gratification was just too strong.

Where things got even more interesting, is that in a follow up study years later, it was found that those who were able to delay their gratification were more successful in life. They had higher SAT scores, were leaner and healthier, and reached a higher level education than those unable to wait (not that SAT scores mean a lot, mine sucked).

It’s commonplace to bash the modern day culture of instant gratification, but turns out the dark underbelly of wanting success now was tangibly quantified and proven.

If we can’t wait, it’s foreboding of how we’ll approach things in life.

That program you’re tempted by that promises fast weight loss? Those magic pills? Not only are they ineffective, but if you are the type that falls victim to the sales pitch of now, you’re statistically less likely to be a successful person by some measureables.


All that from a marshmallow?


Friday, 1.19.18

For 30 Minutes at a steady, moderate intensity.
Rope Movement
A: 20 Rainbows
B: 20 Rapid Slams
C: 10/s Split Stance Waves
3/s BW Side Lunges
30” Farmer Hold
150m Row
10 Plate GTO
10 Split Lunge Jumps
15” MB Pec Crush
200m Run