Don’t Tempt Me!

It is no accident that sweets are on my mind.

I gave them up for lent, so naturally I think about them all the time, even though I am now three weeks invested in this hiatus. My current preoccupation with sweets may very well be the impetus for this slice, but at the very least it is a convenient segue into the subject of marshmallows.

I have been thinking of The Marshmallow Experiment.

The Marshmallow Experiment was a study done by Stanford Professor Walter Mischel in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. In the trial, a child (age 4-5) was escorted into a room and a marshmallow placed before them in easy reach. The child was told that they could to eat the marshmallow right away, or if they were willing to wait 10-15 minutes to eat the marshmallow, they would get a second one. The adult then left the room leaving the child to decide for themselves what to do about the enticing marshmallow. Eat it, or wait?

One treat now, or two treats later?

The decisions of hundreds of children tested (and tempted!) in the trials were noted, and those subjects were revisited in adulthood, decades later. It ends up that the ability to delay gratification – even in toddlerhood – is a strong predictor of future success in life.

I often put myself in front of that marshmallow.

Would I eat it or would I wait longer for double the payoff?

Some days I feel like I could wait it out, and other days, not so much.

How about you?

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Tempt Me!

  1. This is deeply symbolic. It is not often I see a spiritual exercise in sacrifice woven with an empirical study correlating delayed gratification at one stage of life and success in another. I extrapolate from this the revelation that sacrifice prepares us for meaningful rewards. Your posts have a poetic quality. As you know well, that is what captures my imagination.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would think I would have waited, but only if they gave me a book to read! I remember doing the Lays potato chip test, bet ya can’t eat just one! Thanks for giving me something to think about!

    Liked by 1 person

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