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Mischel's Marshmallows
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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!
  • Transcript

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