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Delayed Gratification

As high-achievers, we’ve perfected the art of delayed gratification, just like the kids in the classic marshmallow test. Remember how the ones who waited 15 minutes to eat their marshmallow got an extra one? Well, it turns out those kids were more successful later in life.

I’m willing to bet you’re one of those kids too–someone who has been repeatedly rewarded for waiting to eat the marshmallow or for resisting the marshmallow altogether.

While delaying gratification contributes to early success, it’s important to recognize as high-achievers that we can sometimes take this approach to an extreme.

We work all day without breaks. We deprioritize enjoyable activities. We don’t truly disconnect while on vacation.

We can end up delaying gratification for so long that we stop experiencing it altogether.

And what’s the result?




This week, I stopped delaying gratification. I took three hours out of my work week to do something I love: riding my bike in beautiful places.

And I returned to my work feeling energized, motivated, and brimming with inspiration, gratitude and fresh ideas.

This coming week, I challenge you to reflect on where you might be over-delaying gratification, identifying one small, meaningful way to to re-introduce it into your life.

In other words: Just eat the marshmallow for once. Not all day, everyday. Just once. :) And when you do, let me know what taste it leaves in your mouth.

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