Have you ever heard about the cookie study that was done on a few 6th grade students? These children were set alone each one in a room. They were told that their interviewer will come later, there was one cookie on the table, if they wanted they could have that cookie now but if they waited the interviewer will come later on and give them a second cookie. So the challenge and the question was, will the child wait till the interviewer comes back in the room and get two cookies instead of one or will the child just be tired of waiting and take the one cookie that already was in front of him. This study was remarkable, regardless of how simple the case seemed to be it had a big effect on their lives and weather or not they would grow up achieving great things. So in a few words, the outcome of the study was that the children who were able to wait were those who would go on in life and work hard and achieve bigger things and those who just took what already was there were often those who choose the easy way out and would not put too much effort to achieve bigger things in life.
This little study could be related in your everyday life. Sometimes you have to make decisions and each decisions brings you closer or further from the goals you have in life. Often we don’t realise it how our decisions affects our lives. Have you ever had your alarm going off and you would just snooze it out and convince your self that you could really do with some extra 5 minutes sleep in the morning? Just to be aggravated later on that day because you are running out of time and can’t manage to get your things done?Yes I’ve been there too.
This concept of enjoying the short term pleasure instead of opting for a long term satisfaction is a concept that should be thought to children from a very young age by their parents. But just like me, you might not have had the chance to grow up in a beautiful traditional family environment so somehow you have had to teach yourself discipline along the way while growing up. Often when that’s the case we tend not to give much time on this concept which ends up to be a big burden once we grow up.
You could be challenged on different fields in life and wonder how you could possibly make it out. When that’s the case you have to remember this very important basis most of us don’t really put much importance to. You have to remember that if you want to achieve something great it takes time and much effort, so most of the time when things are easy and effortless, it wont bring you a big long term satisfaction but only a short sudden joy.
Let me give you an example, a while ago I was at a big crossroad of changing careers. On one side I was given the opportunity to work for this great company, doing something that I’ve done before which was easy for me and I would pay me well from the beginning but will have more difficulties for me to grow in the company. On the other side I had this job that I loved; I knew that I would be paid a little less that the first job, but I knew that in here I had the opportunity to grow and with time I would be able to earn much more than the first job.
When these two opportunities presented themselves to me, I made up my mind straight away. I was going for the second job of course. But after long thinking and some good advice of a good friend, I realised that I’ve been on this crossroad before, many times and till now I’ve always choose the easy way out, the short time pleasure over the long time commitment. The here and right now joy instead of being patient and waiting for what I truly wanted which would take time to bear good fruit but once there, I would enjoy it much more on a longer period of time.
I remember to have weighed to either finish my university course or just go straight to work. I knew that after I graduate I would earn much more, but I wanted to get paid straight away instead of waiting on an other few more years. Are you or have you been in that situation?
Just like many things in life this can be related in relationships as well. I have known some loose men, who had the -easy come, easy go- mentality and would go on cheating on their spouses just to realise that short time pleasures never translate itself into a life time satisfaction. This little mistake would go on and break the trust and the bond they were in with their spouses. Don’t be like that. Think bigger and think further. Take time to work on the things you want cause nothing happens overnight and if it does it’s probably not worth having. Even nature takes time to grow and reach it’s highest beauty, the sun and the moon don’t just switch on and off; they gradually reach their highest level and we should learn from that.
So next time you are presented with two situations and one takes more time but leads to greater satisfaction I hope you’ll know what to choose.