Don’t Eat The Marshmallow!

I remember eating pizza one night as a kid while working at a gas station when an old grumpy mechanic who was passing through the showroom stopped in front of me and growled, “How many times do I have to tell you that if it tastes good, then don’t eat it because it’s bad for you!”

Well, in some ways that old grumpy man who was really just trying to be funny had a point when it comes to food. However, I’m not going to ask you to never eat anything that tastes good. But, I am going to ask you to not eat the marshmallow…

Why the marshmallow? Well, many years ago some researchers did a study on a group of young kids. They told the kids that the adults had to leave the room. They also told the kids to eat a marshmallow if they wanted. However, if the kids could manage to wait until the adults returned then the kids would get the bigger prize of being able to eat two marshmallows instead of just one.

Well, as you can imagine, some of the kids didn’t have the will power, or emotional intelligence to pass up the instant gratification of one marshmallow right now for the bigger prize of two marshmallows later. Some immediately dove in. Some waited a little bit, but then they too passed up the bigger prize later for the single marshmallow now. It took a while, but eventually, the adults returned from the other room that they were hiding in and secretly watching the kids, and gave the few who did wait the larger prize of two marshmallows.

Now it gets really interesting. The researchers followed up with the same kids twenty years later. And the children who had previously passed up the single marshmallow as a little kid for the bigger prize of two marshmallows scored higher as adults in every category of success and happiness than those children that hadn’t waited! Imagine that… Predicting one’s future success and happiness from a simple marshmallow test…

Now teens and even tweens, go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us. Please have patience and work on your emotional intelligence by delaying instant gratification through self-control and knowing that you’re working toward the bigger prize. Don’t eat the marshmallow! And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Award-winning author, speaker, and educator Daniel Blanchard wants you to show some self-control and wait for the bigger prize. For more great tips on success and leadership visit Dan’s website at 


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March 21, 2020

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