Eat the Marshmallow.

Last week I was hanging out with a dear friend I’ve known for years. In college, we had “themes” we would live our lives by for the school year. It became our rallying cry, our reassurance, our a point of focus when school or life got too complicated. One year it was “reckless abandon”. The other year it was based off a recipe we had found for Red Velvet cake – “sweet on the outside, wanton within”. We created themes that encouraged our overly analytical, hyper ambitious minds to relax and let loose.

So this friend shared her latest theme with me- one I want to adopt as my own. It’s based off a study I first heard about here on my favorite podcast from RadioLab. The gist of the study is testing the benefits of deferred gratification. Kids were plopped down at a table with one marshmallow on it. The researched told the kid that they could either eat the marshmallow now, or wait and get two marshmallows later. As you can imagine with the kids, their impulse control is very difficult to maintain- they just couldn’t bear the thought of not having what they wanted NOW.

This is something I couldn’t relate to. I’ve become an adult who plans ahead, who works for a future that is on its way, at some times to the detriment of being in the moment. I’m a planner- but I need to find a way to live more in the  now.

So, with that in mind, this is one of my themes for this period of my life. I hope you enjoy.