Joe De Sena’s newest book is called The Spartan Way. It’s all about the ten Spartan virtues. It’s awesome.
(Quick recap for those who might not have been following along: Joe’s first book Spartan Up! got me to do my first Spartan Race. His second book Spartan Fit! got me to step up my game. And, well, now I’m ALL IN. 🤓)
Today we’re going to talk about the fourth Spartan virtue Joe discusses in his new book: Discipline. Joe shares a super-funny story to bring the point home.
Here it is: “Over the last few decades, other researchers mimicked [Walter] Mischel’s test and got similar results. I tried Mischel’s ‘marshmallow test’ on my son Jack when he was six years old. I told him he could have one scoop of ice cream instantly or two scoops if he waited fifteen minutes. He thought about it a little, then asked, ‘How long will I have to wait for fifteen scoops?’ Already, my kid had figured out that greater things can come to those who wait.”
“How long will I have to wait for fifteen scoops?” ← How epic (!!) is that?! (I literally laugh out loud every time I read that.)
I told Alexandra that story and she did the test on our six-year-old son Emerson.
Our version of The Marshmallow Test went like this:
Alexandra: “I’ll give you one (100%) dark chocolate bar right now; or, I’ll give you two if you wait 15 minutes. Which would you choose?”
Emerson (after thinking about it for a moment): “I’ll take one now.”
Alexandra: “Why would you choose that?”
Emerson: “Well, two chocolate bars is too much for someone my size!”
HAH! Love it and love him.
The best part?
I might have coached him that if he waited the 15 minutes he could have eaten however much he thought was best then saved the rest for another day.
To which he replied that having it around would make it difficult for him to resist a la Willpower 101 (and playing offense not defense, etc. 🤓)
Now… Back to the Spartan virtue of Discipline.
As Joe says: “Patience eventually becomes power. When you are a master of your choices, you are not slave to impulses, bad habits, and the whims of other people. When you couple delayed gratification with perseverance, you have a commanding weapon in your utility belt, which is why it’s a core Spartan virtue.”
Quick check in: How’s YOUR ability to delay gratification? And your perseverance?
Here’s to putting them together and creating a utility belt packed with commanding weapons!