Marshmellow consumption at the age of 4 predicts academic performance and generally quality of life 12 years later.
What?!Here are the results of a1972 psychological study conducted by Walter, Mischel:
When a group of 4 year olds were told that they could have one marshmallow now or two when a researcher got back, the 4 year olds who waited 15 minutes and were awarded 2 marshmallow received higher grades, higher SATs scores, were more popular, and generally happier than their peers who could not resist eating the marshmallow 12 years later (Walter Mischel, Stanford, 1972).
What does this mean for you?
The Bad News:
Willpower is like a muscle. It can fatigue easily, ever notice how some days you have no energy or willpower to do things in the afternoon or evening?
The Good News!
Willpower is LIKE A MUSCLE. Therefore, the more you use it, the stronger it will get.
What ONE routine will you implement in your life to strengthen your willpower muscle?
Some ideas to strengthen willpower, improve self-discipline, and increase overall well-being include:
1) Laying out your gym clothes 3 nights a week
2) Recording financial transactions for weekend spending
3) Compiling a food diary
4) Doing schoolwork or house chores as soon as you get home Monday-Friday
Have you tried one of these before? Do you find your willpower strengthened? How about your sense of optimism?
What is your latest beginning?
It’s that time of year again, millions of students of all ages have returned to school over the past two weeks. Ironic, that although Fall is not associated with new beginnings,
it is the season most equated with change. For us New Englanders, the trees will start to glow warm shades of orange, red, and yellow and the winds will turn from balmy to blustery.
I, myself, am in the midst of several new beginnings: adding new members to the team, starting a new seasonal job, and meeting new roommates. For me, new beginnings are always met with some physical resistance however.
Here is a trick I use when I encounter these always unfamiliar and sometimes unusual situations….
The body’s physiological responses for fear and excitement are the same: racing heart rate, shallow breathing, upset stomach, sweaty palms, etc. We’ve all been there.
The fun thing is that you can literally change the emotion you equate with that response without even changing physiology!
Did you know it has been proven that you can change both your physiology and your mood through your words? My favorite mantra regarding this is: “You cannot choose the thoughts that come into your head, but you can choose which ones you hold on to.” So, why not try it? Next time you feel anxious, give yourself a quick reminder about excited you are, hold on to that thought as long as you can, and you’ll put into motion a set of chemical processes that will better prepare you for whatever new beginning you encounter.
Of course, deep breaths and keeping few Tums nearby is always helpful too!
Lesson: Use this anxious feeling to your benefit, turn thoughts of fear into thoughts of excitement and bravado by repeating how excited you are about the upcoming situation. It will almost never go as bad as you thought it would anyways!
From Leo Logs, Vol. 1, Issue #16, September 7th, 2012