Mischel's Marshmallows


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  • I’m Joe Fiorini
    I am a software artisan at Within3
    and a general geek
    I love my Mac, my wife, and have a dog named Fozzie
  • - In the 1960s psychologist Walter Mischel noticed something about his daughters
    - Around the age of 4 they stopped throwing tantrums when they wanted something
    - They now had the ability to put off pleasure in order for a greater reward
  • - To find out why he organized experiments using his daugthers’ classmates
    - He wanted to see what would happen when kids were presented with a marshmallow and told if they waited 20 minutes without grabbing it, they would get two marshmallows
  • - Then he sweetened the pot.
    - He used Oreos instead of Marshmallows!
    - Oh the cruelty!
    - Then something interesting happened...
  • - A few years later, Mischel checked up on the kids from the study
    - He found out that the ones who were grabbers were doing significantly worse than the others
  • - He decided to follow these kids through adolescence and into adulthood
    - The results showed grabbers had lower grades, SAT scores, salaries and were less likely to go to college
  • - Mischel noticed a difference in the personalities of the grabbers and those who left the marshmallow
    - The kids who were more patient had strategies to hold themselves back
  • - Each kid was different
    - One turned around, one sat under the table, another made up songs
    - But each of these kids used tricks to control his/her impulses
    The first thing that came into my head after hearing that story was:
  • - Would I have grabbed the marshmallow?
    - Think about it for a few seconds...
  • - But this study raises an important question:
    - Were the grabbers destined to fail in life?
    - To answer that, I say:
  • - It doesn’t matter <.>
    - if you were a grabber it doesn’t make you a failure
    - We control our destiny
    - an action we performed when we were 4 doesn’t determine the outcome of our entire lives
  • - That being said...
    - Mischel’s test does show a strong correlation between grabbers and those who can’t stick to their goals
    - Obviously, many, many people lead happy satisfying lives. How is this possible?
  • - Weight Watchers uses a points system to help you control eating
    - while teaching healthy eating habits
  • - Dave Ramsey pushes budgeting and building a “debt snowball” to help you control impulsive spending
  • - The “Pomodoro” technique of working for 25 minutes/breaking for 5
    - helps people get work done in chunks without being distracted
  • - The ability to withhold self-gratification is given at birth
    - However, we can see that tricks and strategies can be learned
    - I’m going to leave you with what has helped me
  • - One of the great philosophers said man, know thyself
    - This is about knowing who you are
    - and creating the world that you want to live in
  • Breaking it down further...
    - Need to know what motivates you
    - Use that to discipline yourself
    - If you’re motivated by money, don’t start a non-profit!
  • - My father always told me to “make your weakest link your strongest”
    - For example, I find it very hard to focus on one project for a long time
    - Therefore I try to work on very small projects instead of large ones
  • - Set yourself up for success and you will succeed!
  • - Set yourself up for success and you will succeed!
  • Mischel's Marshmallows

    1. 1. Mischel’s Marshmallows What Does it Mean to Us?
    2. 2. Unique
    3. 3. I’M SCREWED
    4. 4. WTF?
    5. 5. WHO CARES?
    6. 6. Implications
    7. 7. In the real world...
    8. 8. ...we have many...
    9. 9. ...methods for success
    10. 10. What are your tricks?
    11. 11. Take the Blue Pill!
    12. 12. Motivation => Discipline
    13. 13. Create Your Own Success!
    14. 14. You are in control!
    15. 15. Can I have a cookie now?