Today was a day of reflection.
About turning over some old behaviors (I hope).
Feeling discomfort in the present so long term I can better reach my long term goals.
Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes would describe me as a "shoot first ask questions later" kind of guy.
I think part old/conditioning + faulty wiring (my brain) = impulsive decisions.
There was a long term study done with school aged kids.
They were brought into a room, which had a chair, a table.....
And a cookie.
Just one cookie.
They were told that they cold eat the cookie now...
or wait for 15 min and at that point, they could have a whole bag.
Now, the wait time may not be exactly 15 min, or maybe it wasn't the whole bag, but you get the gist of this.....
The researchers were trying to find out if success was partially linked to delaying gratification.
So, they kept track on these kids, through high school, college and beyond...
And guess what?
The ones who could wait for that bag of cookies...
Here's a link to the article....
And an excerpt....
Want a cookie?
More than 600 children took part in the marshmallow experiment nearly 40 years ago, conceived of by psychologist Walter Mischel of Stanford University and his colleagues.
"Sometimes experimenters had not even finished talking about the experiment when the kids already ate the marshmallow or cookie," said cognitive neuroscientist B.J. Casey at Weill Cornell Medical College, who has taken part in follow-up studies on this work. "Other 4-year-olds were able to wait by sitting on their hands and turning away, or creating imaginary friends to distract them."
Since Mischel's daughters attended nursery school with many of these children in the study, he began noticing that whether or not the kids delayed gratification appeared linked with many other factors in their lives. Kids who succumbed quickly to temptation often had lower SAT scores, a higher body-mass index and a slightly increased risk of substance abuse later on.
Casey refers to those who quickly gave in as low-delayers and those who can delay gratification high-delayers.
"Now, you're not doomed to a bad life if you're in the low-delay group — those results are the average across the whole group, and not true for everyone within," Casey stressed. "Personally, I think we need both low-delayers and high-delayers. High-delayers are more methodical, while low-delayers are more drawn to interesting new or alluring things. If you need explorers, low-delayers might be where to look."
This doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the way I am wired.....
I wouldn't change my life.
It doesn't mean that I couldn't learn to delay whatever gratification I'm seeking for JUST a bit longer.
Which brings me back to my title.
Gotta take care of some debt.
Not a huge amount.
But it's time.
This means putting into practice behaviors that are not my strong suit.
Hell--I just plain don't like them.
Just have to remember that whatever discomfort I'm feeling is finite.
It will end.
Sometimes to get that whole bag of cookies means I'll have to say no to the one sitting right there within arm's reach.
Wish me luck!
Hey everyone. I've been in NYC for over 12 years. Before that...all over the place. Born in Pa, grew up in St Augustine Fl, served in the US Army, lived in Washington Dc and now I call New York my home.