Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Gratification – How It Can Predict Future Success

the-secret-to-sweet-success-in-work-and-lifeInstant Gratification vs. Delayed Gratification 

In this post, I will talk about the landmark experiment on delayed gratification that is very well presented in a wonderful book written by Joachim de Posada.

The book is called “Don’t Eat That Marshmallow… Yet!” and its point is to share an incredible experiment that was done in Stanford a few decades ago.

This experiment involved little children who were taken to the room, where the scientists would sit them down at the table and put a marshmallow in front of them. An adult who also was in the same room told them the following:

“I am going to be back in 15 minutes and, if you want, you can eat the marshmallow, but if you don’t, then when I come back I will give you one more. In other words, you get double the prize”.

(Please note that here I am paraphrasing as I read the book in the original language – Spanish).

Following this, the scientists who conducted this study watched children’s reaction and recorded the results.

Their long-term purpose was to trace the fate of those children years later – those who didn’t resist the temptation and ate the marshmallow; and those who waited to get a second marshmallow.

From this study, some serious conclusions were made.

It turned out that those children who were able to resist the temptation of the momentary pleasure and waited for double results, later in the years achieved a much greater success.

instant-gratification-vs-delayed-gratification-book

In this book, the subject is so densely developed – personally, I read the book in no time.

For the record – this information isn’t given as a boring scientific theory, but rather in the form of a dialogue between the boss and the driver.

That is, the boss, who is a billionaire, was telling these principles to his driver.

I think you all know people in your life who spend their salary all at once and, in addition to that, get into serious debts.

  • It is that first type of people who want to get all at once, here and now.
  • They do not think about the future, and
  • They are not prepared to wait in order to get better results later on.

On the other hand, there is the second type of people who are willing to sacrifice the momentary pleasures in order to get more benefits later on.

I personally believe that at this point I feel that I fall into this category. I am saying this in a sense that it has been only a few months since I started working on my blog, and I understand that it is better to put all the work and efforts and create the quality content now, and then enjoy the good results later on.

I believe that patience and time are the answer to every desire.

Personally, I loved one interesting moment from the book, where the billionaire asks the driver:

“Look, I’m proposing to you either one million dollars today or one dollar, which will be doubled every day for a month. What do you choose?”

(Again, please note that here I am paraphrasing as I read the book in the original language- Spanish).

The driver, of course, chose the option to have one million dollars instantly. That’s how most people would act. Similarly to the kids from the experiment, that driver just gave in to his weakness and basically ate his marshmallow right away.

If he sat and thought about the decision and actually took the time to count – then he would have realized that the second option would bring him a lot more money.

Do the math – it’s a lot more!

This story starts to develop in the book, and you will see other great examples that will blow your mind away.


At this point, I’d like to include this short video from TED where Joachim de Posada shares a landmark experiment on delayed gratification – and how it can predict future success. With a priceless video of kids trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow 😉

I definitely recommend reading “Don’t Eat The Marshmallow… Yet!– you will enjoy learning about the principles of success.

Funny thing, Amazon.com labeled this book as “The Best Book of 2016 So Far“. When I checked last year, it didn’t have that label.

Anyway, I think the book will have a powerful influence on you. I know it did on me. 

And as the author himself writes, the outcome of this interesting psychology experiment has changed his life.


P.S. If you’ve read this book, please share your opinion in the comments below 😉 Instant gratification vs. Delayed Gratification – who will win the battle?

Instant Gratification vs. Delayed Gratification – How It Can Predict Future Success
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