The Marshmallow Test is a simple one. Have something desirable right below your nose, say a marshmallow placed before you for 20minutes, tempting you to eat it. You can just pop it into your mouth. No one is stopping you. But then you forgo getting another marshmallow 20 minutes later.
Would you choose to eat one marshmallow now or wait to eat two marshmallows?
The wait is usually painful, especially if you love marshmallows. But you get 2 instead of 1.
Let’s raise the stakes of this play.
You have a bank account with some savings, and you are itching to spend it. You can use it now and get that pair of sneakers or 3-day travel you are dying to have OR be disciplined and use only what you have already allocated to yourself for daily expenses.
The mantra you tell yourself, “Those savings shall be spent for XXXX in XXXX time in the future, and then you can get A & B instead of just A. “
BORING. The latter option is BORING. It is PAINFUL too, when you are putting in the reps, day by day, and you just want to break that monotony and routine. In pursuing your goals, which you were so eager about when freshly started, you now feel restless and uncertain. You even find distractions to distract yourself from your goals.
That’s the marshmallow test, and that’s the mind game you play.
Why am I bringing this up now? Because I feel the pain of putting in the reps to fulfill those goals and just have the urge to be reckless. Aha!
But the pain is real. The pain from being reckless was not a good experience. And so, after gaining perspective, we learned. As we eye that extra marshmallow waiting for us at the finishing line, we take breaks, adjust our mental states and choose to trod on.