Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Power of Impulse Control

In Emotional Intelegence, one famous book of Daniel Goleman, has emphasized the importance of delayed gratification. This concept is introduced through Marshmallow Experiment conducted by Walter Mischel at Standford University. In that experiment, some children is offered a marshmallow. If the kid can resist not to eat that immediately and wait another 15 minutes he can get one more marshmallow. But for the kid who cannot resist temptation and eat the first marsmallow before 15 minutes then he cannot get second marsmallow.

Some years later, researcher follows progress of the children at adolescence time. Researcher sees "the delayers" -- the child who can wait is somehow more successful rather than "the grabber" -- the child who took gratification directly. The delayers have more impulse control than the grabbers.

Impulse control is an important component of Emotional Intelegence. Impulse control is so easy in concept but need strong commitment in practice. Impulse control is element that distunguish between success people and not too success. Also distinguish honest authority vs corupt authority. Corruption is one habit which a person cannot stand against immediate gratification.

The common sample of impulse control can be found in morning wake up. When we don't have anything to do e.g. In weekend we usually will add sleep time more than necesary even though maybe we also not totally sleep but just lying lazy on the bed. We enjoy to take more sleep rather than wake up directly to do more useful things. In other day when we have an important things todo like going to work or school in the morning we can wake up easier or at least we can push ourself to wake up from the bed. From this sample we can conclude that brain actually have full capacity in controlling how we react again immediate gratification. We just need to train ourself harder to stand against immediate gratification. You can read how we can train ourself in The Power of Practice post.

Hopefully next time when someone offers a marshamallow we can little bit patient and wait hopefully he will give another marshmallow. ;)

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