I recently re-stumbled upon something called the Marshmallow Test in which kids are given 1 marshmallow in a room all by themselves, but told that if they are willing to wait until the adult comes back, they’ll get a 2nd marshmallow. Dr. Mischell of Stanford, who started the test in the 1960s, concluded that self-control plays an important factor in this test and for the rest of their lives. Of the 500 children examined, 94 were tracked down years later and shown to be more successful in life when they were able to resist the temptation to eat the marshmallow right away.
Which got me thinking, everyone is looking for this capacity to make difficult decisions and hold strong in tough situations. The truth is, we aren’t just looking to do whatever we want. The world knows that if you do whatever you want, for real, you’ll just die. We all have an inner desire to persevere. I blame that on God creating us with desires that this world cannot fulfill :-). We are meant for heaven.
The amazing thing is that this character trait, self-control, is a gift from God. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I welcome you, in whatever endeavor you are seeking to fulfill in life, to ask God for more of His precious gift of self-control. You’ll see that it’s totally worth it to live from heaven’s perspective (2 Corinthians 4:18).
For further reading, check out this blog, this interview with the man who coined the Marshmallow Test, this TED Talk, this document from the APA, this article from James Clear, or this super-cute YouTube video.