The “marshmallow experiment” is one of the most famous pieces of social-science research. The idea is this: place a marshmallow in front of a child and tell them that they can have a second one if they can go fifteen minutes without eating the first one, then leave the room. Whether or not they’re patient enough to wait for the doubled reward is supposedly indicative of a measure of willpower that will benefit them in the future in school and work. Many believe that children who can pass the test show promise for future success.
The Benefits of Impulse Control
Impulse control is the ability to override one’s impulse or desire in order to attain another goal. Individuals without self-control tend to indulge in an action that momentarily satisfies a short term goal at the expense of a long term goal. Impulse control and self-discipline are key strengths that can be applied toward success in everyday life.
Being successful is difficult for many people because life is full of setbacks. Things rarely go smoothly the first time, and frustration can cause people to give up too soon. Each challenge we face provides an opportunity for growth, to learn new skills and problem-solving. Those who are disciplined know that setbacks are inevitable and are able to stay the course towards success, even as they learn from their failures.
Self Discipline as a Tool for Success
The first step towards adding discipline to your life is to set your goals. For some, it can be writing down a list of everything you want to achieve. For others, it can be the inspiration board filled with visual reminders of what you’re working towards. Monitor your progress towards these goals, so that even on challenging days, you can remind yourself that you are closer than you were the day before.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said: “A goal without a plan is merely a wish.”. Create an organized system that works best for you. It may be daily checklists or having the accountability of sharing your progress with a friend. Each person has their own way of organizing themselves that works for them. Whatever that way is, disciplined people put their organized system into action each day which allows them to maximize their time and opportunities to the fullest.
Understand that reaching your goals takes time and that it is a process. Patience is an important part of discipline. While it may feel like doing nothing at times, it’s actually the practice of working hard while you’re waiting. This work will continue to open up new opportunities and each new opportunity is another chance to work towards your goals.
Journey Home Can Help
Journey Home provides a nurturing, sober-living environment with a supportive community. Our relationship-based programming helps clients with therapeutic support, life skills refinement, and personal growth.
We help teens build a sense of responsibility for themselves and their relationships with others. While clients are attending Journey Home they learn about self-care, time management, budgeting and other skills that help them build personal responsibility. For more information please call (855) 918-0032.