For decades he worked extra hard, saved his money, and talked about how excited he was to retire early so he could travel to all his dream destinations.
When he would retire... THEN he would take those trips.
But three months before he was going to retire...
He was diagnosed with stage four cancer.
He died before his official retirement date.
Those trips never happened.
He spent his whole life doing work he didn’t enjoy, WAITING to do the thing he loved...
The final gift he gave me was a lesson about Life I will always remember.
And it has to do with marshmallows…
Have you seen the Marshmallow test studying children’s behavior?
Researchers put a kid in a room and set a plate in front of them with a marshmallow.
The kid is told they can have 2 marshmallows if they wait until the researcher comes back.
These poor kids AGONIZE over the decision if they should eat the marshmallow or not.
(The videos are HILARIOUS to watch.)
The initial study was done at a Stanford university pre-school and it tracked children throughout their lives.
It concluded that children who have the ability to delay their gratification would turn out to be more successful in life.
For years this study has been taught in personal development circles as a way to inspire people to be more disciplined and not so impulsive.
BUT… It was wrong.
In 2018, there was a new study.
Instead of only tracking children at an ivy league preschool, it studied children from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.
And guess what happened?
They couldn’t replicate the results.
In fact, the new study proved that a child’s capacity to ‘delay gratification’ is directly related to how AFFLUENT their parents are.
Meaning: if your parents are rich, you are more likely to "delay gratification."
"Delayed Gratification" alone is more indicative that you had rich parents than it is of your potential for success long term.
This is huge.
We all face at times the choice between Instant Gratification and Delayed Gratification.
So... What do you do if your parents weren’t rich growing up? How do we make the highest quality decisions in our lives?
The sneaky scenario we have to watch out for is "Delayed Gratification" disguised as Fear.
This happens when we partake in what I call "When/Then" thinking.
All you have to do is notice when you use the phrase... "When _____, Then_____."
When I retired... Then I’ll travel.
When I make enough money... Then I’ll quit my job.
When I have more time... Then I’ll workout.
Anytime I find myself saying this phrase, it’s a sign to pay attention to what’s really holding me back.
When I was 22, I was making $50k/year in corporate America.
I also launched a membership site that grew to $6k/month.
I was making more in my side hustle than I was in my job.
But I didn’t quit my job.
DESPITE the fact that I said, over and over...
"When I make more money than my salary... then I’ll quit my job."
What was interesting was that, nine months later, I shut the site down.
The truth is... I was scared.
I wanted to quit that job the day I started it. But I was too scared. Scared of the responsibility. Scared of not having a safety net. Scared of getting what I want.
All too often, when we get caught in the "When/Then" trap, what we believe is holding us back.... isn’t actually real.
It is an excuse disguised as fear. But it can SEEM noble or responsible. Like we are being disciplined and delaying gratification. That is why it’s so sneaky.
The fear limits our beliefs and blinds us from seeing new possibilities of how we could get the thing we want ...Right. Now.
Because what would happen if you could actually get WHAT YOU WANT... right now.
What would that mean about you?
What would that mean about the world?
What would you have to accept?
What friends might you lose?
Too often, we’re actually afraid of getting the thing we want. Sometimes success is scarier than failure.
So we don’t go after what we want at the moment…
The problem is, we don’t feel the pain of this until much later in life. Until it’s too late.
My friend’s death taught me to be more ruthless about analyzing my fear.
To find the things I love, and figure out how to go after them... now.
To not delay the things in life that matter most.
Because there are times to wait for the 2nd marshmallow...
And there are times to eat the one in front of you right now.
Originally published by andydrish.com.
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