经典TED演讲 | 别急着吃棉花糖——关于延迟满足
Don't eat the marshmallow!
I'm here because I have a very importantmessage: I think we have found the most important factor for success. And itwas found close to here, Stanford. Psychology professor took kids that werefour years old and put them in a room all by themselves. And he would tell thechild, a four-year-old kid, "Johnny, I am going to leave you here with amarshmallow for 15 minutes. If, after I come back, this marshmallow is here,you will get another one. So you will have two." To tell a four-year-oldkid to wait 15 minutes for something that they like, is equivalent to tellingus, "We'll bring you coffee in two hours." (Laughter) Exactequivalent.
So what happened when the professor leftthe room? As soon as the door closed... two out of three ate the marshmallow.Five seconds, 10 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, two minutes, four minutes,eight minutes. Some lasted 14-and-a-half minutes. (Laughter) Couldn't do it.Could not wait. What's interesting is that one out of three would look at themarshmallow and go like this ... Would look at it. Put it back. They would walkaround. They would play with their skirts and pants.
That child already, at four, understood themost important principle for success, which is the ability to delaygratification. Self-discipline: the most important factor for success. 15 yearslater, 14 or 15 years later, follow-up study. What did they find? They went tolook for these kids who were now 18 and 19. And they found that 100 percent ofthe children that had not eaten the marshmallow were successful. They had goodgrades. They were doing wonderful. They were happy. They had their plans. Theyhad good relationships with the teachers, students. They were doing fine.
A great percentage of the kids that ate themarshmallow, they were in trouble. They did not make it to university. They hadbad grades. Some of them dropped out. A few were still there with bad grades. Afew had good grades.
I had a question in my mind: Would Hispanickids react the same way as the American kids? So I went to Colombia. And Ireproduced the experiment. And it was very funny. I used four, five and sixyears old kids. And let me show you what happened.
So what happened in Colombia? Hispanickids, two out of three ate the marshmallow; one out of three did not. Thislittle girl was interesting; she ate the inside of the marshmallow. (Laughter)In other words, she wanted us to think that she had not eaten it, so she wouldget two. But she ate it. So we know she'll be successful. But we have to watchher. (Laughter) She should not go into banking, for example, or work at a cashregister. But she will be successful.
And this applies for everything. Even insales. The sales person that -- the customer says, "I want that." Andthe person says, "Okay, here you are." That person ate themarshmallow. If the sales person says, "Wait a second. Let me ask you afew questions to see if this is a good choice." Then you sell a lot more.So this has applications in all walks of life.
I end with -- the Koreans did this. Youknow what? This is so good that we want a marshmallow book for children. We didone for children. And now it is all over Korea. They are teaching these kidsexactly this principle. And we need to learn that principle here in the States,because we have a big debt. We are eating more marshmallows than we areproducing. Thank you so much.