Marshmallow and Self- Regulation

In late 1960s and early 1970s, Walter Mitchel, a psychology professor at the University of Stanford did an experiment on a number of preschool kids, aged 3/4 years. In that test, the children were rewarded for a small task, the reward Walter Mitchel offered to them was one marshmallows, but he told the kids, if they can wait and not eat the one marshmallow until he returns, he would give them two mashmallows instead of one. The waiting period was approximately 15 minutes, in some cases it extended to 20 minutes. Some children waited until he returned, some waited for a few minutes and ate the one marshmallow, the rest ate the marshmallow as soon as he left. Walter Mischel observed those children as they grew up and after few years he found tremendous difference in those child regarding their academics, views about life, their goals, their ability to cope with any social environment and ability to stay calm in situations of stress.

We often plan to do something that we know we should do, but in spite of knowing what we should do, we can not put those plans into action, why so ?? What I think is, we are not able to transform these thoughts into actions because we are not able to restrain ourselves from not reacting to temptation, this is the cause of our lack of self regulation. Especially in the case of students, you know you must study from this to that hours, you may make a routine that you never follow, although you are well aware of what is your priority, that happens because we can not stop yourself from reacting to temptations, like gossiping with friends, browsing the internet, chatting over social media, watching TV.

People who are more self regulated and self disciplined are more successful, those who can delay gratitude are more focused on the future than the present, they know the sacrifices they are making today by not reacting to the temptations will make them more successful, help them achieve their goals. For achieving something big we have to sacrifice momentarily gains or pleasure.

Image Credit : Internet

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