I recently started using the term successful adulting because life demanded that I prove; my capability of being a responsible human being.
I believe responsibility is important because it is a sign of maturity. It is one of the final stages in life where you are fully grown and developed. But what comes to mind when you think of adulthood? Personally, I think of mental health and emotional well being.
Good mental health is a sense of wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem. It enables us to fully enjoy and appreciate other people, day to day life and our environments. But maintaining mental health and well being can become so overwhelming as life becomes a balancing act. It is our response to life events and situations such a job loss, mental breakdown, bereavement and for young people issues such as academic demands, relationship difficulties and bullying. (South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust– Mental health and Emotional Well being)
I still can’t believe that as little girl I was so desperate to grow up…At twenty-something I decided to begin my journey on becoming a responsible adult and I have decided to share.
During the last 4 years, I have been working on delayed gratification. It is a psychological term and it deals with the process of decision-making. It is put into practice by ignoring immediate rewards to achieve a long term goal.
The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment(1960-1970) by Walter Mischel, proved the benefits of self-control when a large group of four year olds were presented with a choice: They could either ring a bell and immediately get a marshmallow or wait fifteen minutes and earn two marshmallows. The results of this experiment showed that over time it impacted the development of these children.
Imagine sitting in front of two marshmallows for fifteen whole long minutes! I discovered that willpower and self control were the most difficult things to achieve and I wondered why that was. The internet was my first culprit, because of it we can have whatever we want, instantly.
There was difference in willpower in these children as they went through adolescence into adulthood (Stanford Marshmallow Experiment 2010). A minority of them opted for the single marshmallow and the majority held out, for varying times, to get their reward. Only 30% were able to delay gratification for the full fifteen minute period. The four year olds who could delay gratification went on to achieve higher scores in their SAT’s. They excelled in education, had a greater sense of self worth, managed their stress better and we less prone to drug abuse.
I am not like the majority of children in the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment. I hated waiting for things as a child. I was better at throwing tantrums.
What helps me to sit in front of two marshmallow for fifteen minutes? Well by observing nature, I noticed the process of life. It acted as a gentle reminder. That helped me to cope with the events in my life much better. It also helped decrease my anxiety and break the habit of over-thinking. I am fully aware that this is not an over night process so I will revisit it with more Successful Adulting posts.
But in the meantime, what are your thoughts on delayed gratification?