Strangely enough, if you have the skills to lose weight and stay fit then you have precisely the right skills to become rich! What these two seemingly unrelated goals have in common is “delayed gratification”. What is delayed gratification? Its the willingness to put off gratification today for the promise of a much larger prize later on.
The Marshmallow Experiment
The Marshmallow Experiment was an experiment in delayed gratification conducted by Ebbesen and Mischelat at Stanford University in 1970. The purpose of this study was to understand when the control of deferred gratification develops in kids. The experiment took place at the Bing Nursery School located at Stanford using kids aged 4-6 as subjects. The kids were led into a room free from distractions where a marshmallow was placed on a table by a chair. The kids could eat the marshmallow but if they waited for fifteen minutes without giving in to the temptation, they would be rewarded with a second treat.
In over 600 kids who took part in the experiment, a minority ate the marshmallow immediately. Of those who attempted to delay, one third deferred gratification long enough to get the second marshmallow.
In follow-up studies, the researchers found that kids who were able to wait longer for the marshmallow tended to have better life outcomes, higher SAT scores, higher educational levels, lower body mass index (BMI), and other life measures as well.
What do marshmallows have to do with getting rich or losing weight?
I think you see the answer here. Both require the ability to delay gratification. Do you want that donut NOW or are you willing to abstain so that you can have that muscular, ripped physique in a few years? Do you want that shiny new car NOW even though you cant afford it and would have to get a loan to buy it or are you willing to drive your junker another 10 years so that you can save money to start your dream business? Delayed gratification, its the key to weight loss and its the key to financial success.
Successful weight loss
What does successful, long term weight loss require? Glad you asked:
- The willingness to admit that shortcuts do not work
- The ability to make a goal and a nutritional plan
- The ability to set a caloric budget and to live within it every week
- The ability to say “No thanks” to short term temptations and taunts of “live a little” in order to achieve your long term goal of a muscular and lean physique.
The exact same things are required to become rich as are required for successful weight loss and its just as hard.
- The ability to admit that shortcuts do not work, you are not going to win the lottery and your “hot stock tip” is going to be a dud.
- The ability to make a financial plan and stick to it
- The ability to make a financial budget and live within it
- The ability to say no to instant gratification (spending money on stuff you want now) for a much larger financial prize later in life.
Lose weight, get rich!
Of course, delaying gratification is a great start but without a plan, its wasted effort. We will cover the plan in a bit but for now, start thinking about ways to delay that gratification!