What really matters?

Many people such as myself struggle with a trait that no one wants to admit being, called laziness, some of the symptoms will include; trying to stay in bed for an extra 5 minutes, not going out of your way to talk to a professor for help, and trying to find out the fastest and simplest way to finish whatever tasks that is given to you.

Walter Mischel a professor at Stanford University had numerous amounts of experiments done on children around ages 4–5 years old. He conducted an experiment called The Marshmallow Experiment, which consisted of children walking into a room with a marshmallow on the table. The adult in the room tells the children that they can have an extra marshmallow if they wait until they come back. The researcher leaves the room for 15 minutes. Majority of the kids began to feel irritated and moved, around others ate the marshmallow right as the researcher left the room. A small portion of the children studied waited the full 15 minutes for the researcher to come back and received an extra marshmallow.

This experiment is an example of Delayed Gratification, and the children who waited for the second marshmallow ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of Substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better Reponses to stress, and better social skills as reported by their parents.

If people could work on trying to resist the temptation of the immediate reward and wait for more of an meaningful reward, then we can be more successful in whatever task given to us. Instead of watching TV right after school, first finish you assignments and look over them and then you’ll have a greater success in School. When you go to the grocery store turn down the sweets and buy what is good for your body and you’ll be healthier. Instead of shortening your workout, work a little harder and you’ll become more fit. This seems like a relatively easy and simple idea but majority of us don’t do it.

Going through the same routine everyday can put a toll on the mind and body. Once we enter this repeating cycle of doing something you don’t truly love, you become lazy. We start to procrastinate and slack off because we think to ourselves that the work will eventually be finished sometime in the day. We just need to find what really matters. Oprah Winfrey once said an amazing quote “It’s difficult to follow your dream. It’s a tragedy not to.” At that specific moment in time when the child was told that she could get another piece of marshmallow if she waited, her goal right then and there was to get another marshmallow. It wasn’t easy for her to wait patiently on the seat staring at the marshmallow in front of her for a full 15 minutes. The work won’t be the same to meet your goal, but the procedure will. And if you follow through, the results will be there one way or the other. Fight for what you want because working towards something you love will be painful, but once you’re at the point where work doesn’t feel like work anymore then you’ll be successful and overcome laziness and keep doing the thing you love.

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