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The Marshmallow Test

The Marshmallow Experiment was conducted in the 1960s by Walther Mischel at Stanford University. It was popularized by Daniel Goleman, perhaps best known for his books Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence.

The test
The researchers gathered a group of four-year olds in a room. A researcher set a marshmallow in front of each kid. The kids were told that the researcher needed to run an errand. If the kid didn’t eat the marshmallow before the researcher got back, the kid would be given a second marshmallow. However, if the kid ate the marshmallow, he or she would not get another one.

Picture yourself at four-years old.
Could you have resisted that tasty marshmallow?

Some ate their marshmallow before the researcher even got out of the room! Others seem to have no problem not resisting the temptation. Some turned their back on the marshmallow. Others sang a song or distracted themselves in other ways. One kid reportedly even licked the table around the marshmallow!

The reward for waiting was pretty good – a 100 percent increase in marshmallows! Interestingly enough, ALL the kids expected a second marshmallow – even the kids who ate theirs!

The follow-up
The researchers tracked these kids in the subsequent years. They surveyed their parents and their teachers. They found that, in general, the kids who had been able to resist the marshmallows were better adjusted and more dependable.

They were more competent socially and more self-assertive. They were able to cope with frustration and stress much better. They embraced challenges rather than seeing them as a huge obstacle. They also scored 210 points higher on their SAT exams.

So what’s your marshmallow?
We’ve all heard about rock-n-rollers who came to fame and fortune early. They make a lot of money; then blow it all. They think it will always be there.

Some time later, we hear they’re out touring again, because they’re out of money. They have to start over because they don’t have any marshmallows left. Obviously we’re stereotyping rock-n-rollers … they haven’t all fallen into this trap.

Here’s the ironic thing — by resisting that treat now, you can have more later! Here are some thoughts to help you get the most marshmallows.

#1 – Keep your eye on the final prize.
Focus on what you ultimately want, not your marshmallows. 71 What’s your dream life]? Keep that in front of you. You’ll resist the marshmallows now so you get more later.

#2 – Find techniques that work for you.
Just like with the kids, we each need to find what works best for us. For example, you may find that paying yourself first helps you resist your marshmallows. Many people have found that as long as they don’t see the money, they don’t miss it.

Other people won’t buy anything unless they have the cash to pay for it. This simple requirement helps them resist many marshmallows.

Mary-Lynn shared her technique – she focuses on her needs, rather than her wants. She’s ready for a new smart phone. She wants an iPhone, but she’ll get a phone that’s a couple of hundred dollars less. It suits her needs just fine.

 

How do you resist the marshmallows in your life? Leave us a comment.

#3 – Reward yourself when you reach a desired goal.
A couple of days ago, we talked about 144 The Stairway To Success]. We discussed the steps that will get you to the top of your stairway. When you reach a desired goal – reward yourself.

Don’t overdo it – you do want to enjoy a marshmallow now and then … just don’t get so full that you can’t make it up the stairs!

 

Get our FREE Bigg Goal-Setters Workbook.

It’s a great tool to help you set your marshmallow marks – those points where you give yourself a treat! Just sign up for the Bigg Success Weekly newsletter – It’s FREE, too!

Our Bigg Quote today is by the great Brian Tracy:

“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification
in the short term in order to enjoy greater rewards in the
long term is the indispensable pre-requisite for success.”

So plan your life and live your plan …. and go ahead, have a marshmallow now and then!

Next time, we’ll answer a question from one of our listeners who wants to know if he should count on his employer’s counter offer.

In the meantime, we’re off for a cup of hot chocolate … topped with marshmallows, of course! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Related Posts:

  71 Back To The Future: Visualize The Life You Want (Part 2)]

144 The Stairway To Success]

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Climbing The Stairway To Success

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Today, we’ll discuss how to reach your goals, step-by-step. We toyed with calling this blog the “Stairway to Heaven”, but we’re Bigg Success, not Bigg Heaven!

On the show, Mary-Lynn told an amusing story from her radio dj days about locking herself out of her building while “Stairway to Heaven” was playing. Listen to the show to hear it! Click on the play button above (just click the arrow), or, if you are viewing this in a reader, just click the mp3 button or link.

Picture this … you’re in a 100-story building. You’re at the bottom of a stairway, but you can see all the way to the top.

Can you jump to the top?

Superman could leap over tall buildings in a single bound, but that’s a cartoon!

Could you jump up even one flight of stairs?

Even Michael Jordan couldn’t do that, not even with a running start!

Could you take one step?

You can handle that!

Now how about a second?

Of course.

Your success is like this stairwell. You can’t jump to it – you get there step-by-step. Let’s look at three mistakes people make when setting their goals and then we’ll offer three tips to get to the top of your stairway to success.

3 mistakes people make when setting their goals

Mistake #1: Trying to jump to the top.

People want instant success. Get rich quick. It’s nearly impossible. Ask almost any successful person. They started at the bottom and worked their way up.

Mistake #2: More than one building.

You see people who climb a stairway in this building. Then they climb a stairway in another building. They climb a lot of stairs, but they never get past the second floor of any building!

Mistake #3: Never stopping to rest.

You need to refresh yourself – give yourself a little treat. Don’t be so eager to get to the top that you never reward yourself for the progress that you’ve made. If you don’t rest occasionally, you’ll wear yourself out.

3 tips to get to the top of your stairway

Tip #1: Find your building and the stairway in it that leads to the top.

The building is your dream … your passion. The stairway is your action plan – all the steps it will take. You need long-term goals. That’s why it’s important to have one building and one stairway. Everything you’re doing should lead to the top.

Tip #2: Set medium-term and short-term goals.

Medium-term goals are represented by a flight of stairs. Short-term goals are each step.

By focusing on these achievable goals, you aren’t intimidated by the long-term goals. They keep you from giving up and going to another building, because you’re seeing progress toward your long-term goals.

Long-term goals give you direction. Medium-
and short-term goals show your progress.

Tip #3: Give yourself a treat.

You may or may not do this with each step, but you better do it with each flight of stairs! Enjoy your accomplishment! Give yourself a reward … something you really want …like an extra day off, a weekend away, or a cool new gadget.

So you’re climbing YOUR stairway to success … to YOUR bigg dream. That motivates you, BUT you also reward yourself for your progress. That keeps you motivated!

Our Bigg Quote today is by Mabel Newcomber.

“It is more important to know where you are going than to get there quickly.”

So climb your stairway to success step-by-step to your bigg dream. What may seem impossible now … becomes probable with every step you take.

How do you reward yourself when you achieve a goal? Share with us by leaving a comment.

Next time, we’ll discuss some recent research on customer trust and how you can capitalize on it. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file | podcast:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/biggsuccess/00046-011408

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How Do You Define Success?

Happy New Year! As we think about the year ahead, we want to ask this question:

On December 31, how will you know if you’ve succeeded?

To help you with that, we developed The Bigg Goal-Setting Workbook For Bigg Goal-Getters Like You. We love short titles here at Bigg Success! The Workbook takes you through a six-step process:

Step 1 – State your goals.

Step 2 – Classify your goals.

Step 3 – Explain the importance of your goals.

Step 4 – Action items.

Step 5 – Goal statement.
From this Workbook, you’ll end up with a clearly-defined goal statement. A goal statement summarizes what your goal is, why you must achieve it, and the actions necessary to do so.

All in one, simple statement. Concise. Specific. Memorable.

Step 6 – Internalize your goals.
With that in hand, you’ll be able to internalize your goal. To get your goal into your subconscious mind. So it’s always with you. Always available. On-demand.

One way to do this is to read your goal statement when you get up in the morning. As you do this, day after day, your goal will be in your mind all day. 

Read it again when you go to bed. That way it will seep into your subconscious mind as you sleep.

Soon, you’ll be able to pull your goal statement out of your memory, on demand. So when you’re sitting in line at the drive-thru or when you’re working out, think about your goal.

Picture yourself taking the actions necessary to achieve it. Feel yourself actually achieving it. Great athletes do this; so should you.

Be consistent and persistent. You don’t have to be a hero. Just day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute, work to achieve your goal.

Before long, you’ll be ready for another goal … because you’ve already accomplished this one!

The Bigg Goal-Setting Workbook For Bigg Goal-Getters Like You is full of great tips, inspiring quotes, and printable forms that you can use to set, and get, your goals. And it’s free!

All you need to do is sign up for our free newsletter, The Bigg Success Weekly. And when we say “weekly”, we mean it! We promise not to fill up your Inbox with a bunch of e-mails.

Each week, you’ll get some great articles, success stories, timeless principles, leading-edge applications, and links to help you succeed bigg!

So sign up for a free newsletter and get a free tool. A tool that you can use today! How’s that for a deal?

Our bigg quote today comes from Ellen Goodman.

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the
rooms of our lives … not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

So look for your potential … define the success you want with your bigg goals this year. Because you’re a bigg goal-getter, too!

Next time, we’ll discuss the single most destructive thought you can have. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Out With The Old, In With The New Year

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07

Life Changes

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It’s part of the cycle of life – one year winds down as another one revs up. It’s an exciting time of year. We get a fresh start. Another chance.

To make the most of the New Year, take some time now to reflect. That’s a common phrase with an uncommon challenge.

To reflect is to carefully consider. As the year nears completion, here are some things upon which you might reflect.

Reflect upon the past year
One definition of reflection is a careful reconsideration of past choices, actions, and events. Think about the past year. What decisions made the greatest impact on your life? What lessons can you take away from that?

Think about the people in your life. Your family. Old friends. New friends. Co-workers. What will you do next year to strengthen your relationships? How will you meet new people?

Think about the places in your life. Your work. Your home. Your community. What did you do to improve these places this year?

When were you happiest? How can you incorporate more moments like that this year? What made you sad? Was it something you could control? Is there a lesson to bring to the coming year?

Are you proud of what you accomplished this year? As you think about it, what was your greatest triumph? What lessons can you learn from that? What was your biggest disappointment? What did it teach you?

Are you a better person now than you were at the beginning of the year? If so, congratulations! Take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. If not, why not? What will you do next year to make sure that you grow?

Reflect upon the coming year
Another definition of reflection is an idea that results from careful consideration. What bigg ideas do you have? What are you doing about them?

What thoughts flow from the lessons you learned last year? What are you doing with your newfound knowledge?

What are your goals for this year? How will you track them to be sure you’re on track? How do these goals fit your long-term vision for yourself?

What will you do to feed your mind and your spirit? Besides checking out Bigg Success regularly, of course!

How do you plan to maintain balance in your life? What will you give to those you care about? How will you advance in your career? What will you do for an escape? When will you do that?

How will you define success on December 31 of next year? What will you do to make that happen? Answer that question, work your answer, and you’re sure to be a bigg success next year!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

(Image of fireworks by angela7dreams, CC 2.0)

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Young Cancer Survivor Inks A Deal For A Cure

By Bigg Success Staff
12-27-07 

Inspirational stories

cartridges_for_a_cure_logo Eli Kahn was three years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia by his doctors at John Hopkins Hospital. Eli endured treatment every other weekend for the next six months, followed by chemotherapy for two years.

He conquered leukemia and now he’s lending a hand in the fight against cancer. A few years back, as his bar mitzvah approached, he talked to his mom about what he would do to fulfill his community service requirement.

His mom suggested that he find something that didn’t involve selling or asking people for money. Eli thought about that – he realized that almost everyone had a computer. Those computers had printers. Print cartridges could be recycled for cash. Voila!

Eli established Cartridges for a Cure. He set up an account with EnviroSmart, the world’s largest recycler of print cartridges. If you go his web site and enter your name, you’ll get a postage-paid box (for your laser printer) or a bag (for your inkjet cartridges). All you have to do is stuff it and mail it.

Your package will go directly to EnviroSmart, who will send a check to Eli. All Eli’s checks are endorsed directly over to John Hopkins.

Eli’s goal was to raise $1,800 by the time of his bar mitzvah. When he passed that goal, he decided to keep going. Now, about three years later, he has raised over $85,000 for cancer research!

This young man beat cancer himself. Now he’s inked a deal to fund research in hopes of beating this devastating disease once and for all. He truly is an inspiration to all of us!

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.