Are You Future-Focused or Present-Focused?

Source: Lifehacker

Found this and had to share. Read it and think about it.


Most people are naturally one way or the other—they either focus on long-term goals or they want immediate gratification. As entrepreneur Derek Sivers explains, always sticking to one pattern of thought is detrimental. The greatest success comes from overriding your natural tendencies to find a balance of the two.

The Marshmallow Experiment

Forty years ago, at a nursery school at Stanford University, psychology professor Walter Mischel ran an experiment.

A bunch 4-year-olds were brought into a room, one at a time. They were given one marshmallow, and told they were allowed to eat it immediately, but if they could wait 15 minutes without eating it, they’d be given a second marshmallow, and could eat both.

70% of the kids ate the marshmallow right away. Only 30% of the kids could wait the full 15 minutes to get the second marshmallow. This experiment has been repeated in other countries (Brazil and Japan) over the years, and the ratio stays the same: two-thirds can’t wait, one-third wait.

But here’s the interesting part:

15 years later, the researchers followed-up and found that those kids who waited for the second marshmallow scored, on average, 250 points higher on the SAT test, and were higher achievers in whatever field they had chosen (academic, athletic, artistic). They were all-around more successful and happier.

So the ability to delay gratification is one of the best indicators of future success.