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Friday, October 23, 2009

Wanting and Waiting...My 'marshmallow' test

Have you heard of the famous marshmallow test? First performed by Walter Mischel at Stanford University in the 1960's, the marshmallow test was a measure of delayed gratification for 4 year olds. The children were told they could have this marshmallow NOW or wait and receive 2. The kids who were successful in waiting employed specific strategies-playing with the marshmallow or otherwise pretending it was something other than an ooey gooey yummy treat. The kids who could wait not only got a second marshmallow but, on average, an extra 210 points on their SAT scores. I have been using a similiar technique to deal with the waiting and the wanting which goes along with this land/farm purchase.

The four noble truths of Buddism teaches that craving and attachments are the root of human suffering and disquiet. If you can end craving, you can bring yourself to a quiet, peaceful place. This is what I have been working on. Rather than let myself become embroiled in the wanting and all the tension that stirs up, I am letting it go. The right solution will come if I don't push too hard and 'surrender to the stream'. A little new-age I know, but it's working for me.

Thanks for all the support by the way, it took all day yesterday -reading, painting, and puttering to get back to normal (or as close as I can get anyway!). When I put days like that into my 'Your Money or Your Life' hourly wage determination, things look a little different!


Conny said...

Yes, I had heard of the marshmallow test in a child development class I took a few semesters ago. I like how you applied it to "the wanting." As an adult it seems that things come to me when I stop looking so hard - and I'm not sure why that is.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your life today. Have a wonderful weekend.

Sue said...

If you have figured out how to "just let go", please tell me how! If I was going through what you are going through, I'd be climbing the walls!
And I agree with Conny-things do seem to show up when you're not looking. I just have to quit looking!!
Have a great weekend, Kris!

hickchick said...

thanks for visiting Connie!
Sue -the letting go hasn't been hard. I have just put the farm into a 'picture frame'. it's not a real farm just a picture of a farm. Now i am working at putting ice cream into a frame-not as easy!