What a Marshmallow Tells Us About Our Behavior

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 offered the child a second treat up front if they could wait a full fifteen minutes before eating the first one. One now, or two later. Right off the bat, a third of the children ate the treat immediately and weren’t concerned with doubling their return later. Of the remaining two thirds who initially opted for two later, only a third made it the full fifteen minutes to the glory of a second marshmallow. Those who failed tried a number of strategies from turning around to covering their eyes, but for the overwhelming majority (67%), the power of instant gratification was just too strong of a temptress.

Here’s the bomb that the study dropped.

Years later, a follow up was conducted and it was found that those children 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. 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 to be a detrimental habit to one’s health and success.

That is fucking CRAZY, if you ask me.

So here’s where we’ll be smart enough to learn. That program you’re tempted by that promises fast weight loss? Those magic pills? Chasing a fast buck rather than working for it? Turns out, if you learn that behavior, you’re statistically less likely to be a successful person.


All that from a marshmallow?


Monday, 9.28.20


10/5 Back Squats
10 Kneeling Curl to Extension
Max SL Glute Bridge Hold/Side
(x20 Min)

Ascending Ladder: 1-2-3, etc.
Lunge Jumps
DB Snatch
(x8 Min)