#1574 Areté +1° #256: The Marshmallow Test

Can You Wait For Two?

Hi, this is Brian.

Welcome back to another Areté +1°. This is another micro-chapter from our new book, Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential.

451 of my all-time favorite ideas.

This is another micro-chapter from our fifth Objective on self-mastery.

It's called…


Walter Mischel is one of the world’s leading researchers on the science of willpower. You may be familiar with his classic study called The Marshmallow Test.

Here’s the quick story: Preschool kids are brought into a simple little room. An adult tells the child that they’re going to leave the room for a bit and that she can have ONE treat (a marshmallow or pretzel or other treat) NOW or… If she can wait a little while, she can have TWO treats when the adult comes back into the room.

Then the adult leaves the room and the researchers watch the kids behind a one-way mirror to see what they do.

Some kids immediately go for the one treat while others make it through the twenty minutes to get their two treats.

But here’s the fascinating part of the study: Mischel and his team followed those preschool kids for DECADES after that simple little experiment.

To their surprise, the children’s low or high delay abilities as a preschooler predicted everything from their SAT scores as an adolescent to their BMI index at thirty years old. (Wow.)

We need to know two things:

1. Willpower is THE “master aptitude.” It’s the greatest predictor of all the things we want more of in our lives.

2. It’s malleable. We just need to practice building it. Good news: That’s basically what we’re doing with all these +1°s.

P.S. Let’s remember: Sometimes, of course, going for that one marshmallow NOW is the wise and enjoyable thing to do. But we want to have the self-control to wait for two when that’s the optimal approach.

Here’s to +1°ing your willpower/discipline/self-mastery a little more today and enjoying all the treats along the way!

P.P.S. I hope you enjoyed that Areté +1° from my new book Areté: Activate Your Heroic Potential. The book will be shippable on Nov 14th—right before Black Friday… in time to make it the perfect holiday gift?!? 🤷‍♂️ 🤓 🙌

I wanted to let you know that we have some special giveaways if you think you might like to pre-order the book and even more goodies if you think you might want to give the book away this holiday season. Here’s the deal!

Pre-order 1 copy and get a free advance reader copy of the eBook today!

Pre-order 3 copies and get a free advance copy of the eBook AND the audiobook AND a limited-edition Areté coin.

Pre-order 10 copies of the book and get all that plus an AUTOGRAPHED advance hardcover reader copy sent to you immediately inside the Areté VIP Box packed with other goodies including 10 (!) free annual Heroic memberships for your gift recipients!

Pre-order 25 copies and get all that plus a free ticket to our launch event-party in Austin on November 10th-12th.

Pre-order 50+ copies and get a big discount!

Place your order here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indies

Let us know when you have so we can hook you up: heroicpbc.typeform.com/preorder

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