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Take a tip from a 4 year old

Posted by Giulia Champion Apr 18, 2009

Click on this link to take you to the video:


And then click on this link to take you to the creator of the concept.  Walter Mischel

And then I found this from the New Yorker

And for further illumination about instant gratification and how to beat it:  Dan Ariely's Ted Talk.

[Unfortunately the orignal link to this video is gone since I posted this blog   And so the following description is not quite accurate as to what you're seeing in the new link I put above.  But you can imagine what it might have been from the description that follows.]

What powered the kids who could resist? The cruel/clever researcher, Walter Mischel, says it's two things - distraction and different thinking. Here's an explainer for the one most of us can take on:

Watch Mischel's video of the children in the marshmallow studies and you will see a familiar set of behaviors. There is kicking of tables, there is singing of songs, there is counting of numbers and twirling of hair and many other variations on this theme. What the children are doing, says Mischel, is distracting themselves. Distraction, says Mischel, is actually a perfectly respectable away of exerting willpower. You simply shift your attention away whenever temptation crops up.
The other technique is a bit more self-help-styled. It involves re-focusing the mind on the long-term implications of the very short-term indulgence that's just out of reach, whether that's a pack of cigarettes, a blended mocha swirl, or surfing on over to a favorite web time waster.
Physical addiction and self-motivation play a strong role in any willpower test, but there is, it seems, a lot to learn from a four-year-old with some refined sugar in front of them.
Delay gratification. Pay attention to this you quitters - It's how you win the battle against the Nicodemon.  The prize doesn't happen over night.  Wait for it.  I promise it will be worth it.

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