Laziness is a Myth – its all about motivation

Synopsis of an article from SmartBrief by Susan Fowler, Published 6th July 2020

Susan uses the 1972 study into delayed gratification otherwise known as the ‘Marshmallow Study‘ where four year old children were asked to wait 15 minutes to eat a marshmallow, if they waited they got a second marshmallow. The concept of self discipline, the researchers went back to the same children 15 years later (now 18 or 19 years old). It is amusing to watch the video.

“Children who had been able to delay their gratification for the marshmallow the longest — those with the greatest degree of self-regulation — had higher life-measure scores. Researchers postulated that children with high-quality self-regulation had greater later-life success.” 

Lessons Learned

There is greater self regulation in the environments where promises are kept, because there is greater trust that the delayed gratification will be rewarded. Optimal motivation comes from our lived experiences, be those broken promises or promises delivered. Where the environment is prejudicial or biased it leads to a lack of trust in achieving the delayed gratification.

“All human beings long to thrive, contribute to the greater good, learn and grow. No one wants to be bored or disengaged. If people are failing, maybe they aren’t basically lazy. Maybe the collective needs to work harder to ensure schools, workplaces and communities where “some types of people” don’t have to work so hard to self-regulate”

Susan Fowler

Read the full article at:

Susan Fowler is an accomplished author of eight books, her latest book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” is about the idea that motivation is a skill.

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