Time is Money - Or is Time Perspective Money?
Your current financial situation could have been determined when you were a kid.
Posted Apr 26, 2013
Some waited while others ate it
Of course, the children wanted two marshmallows, but only some of them could hold out while many of the others gave into temptation and ate the first marshmallow. Children that ate the first marshmallow are considered present hedonist, while those who waited are thought to be future-oriented. Phil Zimbardo repeated this experiment recently with similar results (HYPERLINK “results” to this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_waarFnPOg).
Competence and temptation
Changing time perspectives
Those findings are pretty profound indicators of success. So does eating a marshmallow as a 4-year-old mean you’re destined for less success as an adult? Not necessarily. As we have discovered through research on time perspective, and also in our own clinical psychology practice, you can adjust your own time perspective in a variety of ways:
1. Increase your past positive memories by focusing on what you’ve done well in the past and the times when you were successful or received a compliment from someone about something you did. Think of examples from work, from playing sports, cooking a meal, or even when you helped a stranger or fixed something around the house.
2. Lessen your negative present hedonist tendencies by assessing your pitfalls: What triggers you to act impulsively? What is your Achilles heel- - what are better alternatives to this activity? Think through the future consequences of this immediate pleasurable experience? What are a few positive things that would make you more excited about your future?
3. Eliminate your present fatalist thoughts by acknowledging that nothing is set in stone and you have the ability to choose what you do on a daily basis. Though you may have always done things in a certain way that doesn’t mean you have to always do them that way. Be more confident that your wise actions can begin to change aspects of your life situation in desirable ways.
4. Bump up your future-orientation through goal-setting and choosing constructive present hedonist activities. Take your answers from the present hedonist section and turn those into future-oriented aspirations. What can you do now to create a better future? If you are oriented more towards present hedonism, create realistic rewards for yourself when you achieve your goals to help keep you motivated and give yourself something to work towards.
5. Parents: make sure your child has a positive male role-model present in their life. Another finding Mischel made in some of his earliest observations was that an absence of the father showed the strongest link to delaying gratification, where children from intact families showed a much higher ability to delay. If Dad is busy or travels a lot, make sure your son or daughter has plenty of time with a male relative or is a member of a youth organization like the boy or girl scouts, or Y clubs.
Try this at home
Maybe you should also play the Marshmallow Game with your children, starting when they are three, and then annually. The ability to delay increases with developmental age and proper socialization. Learning to resist temptation and delaying immediate gratification for better long-term future gains is one of the most important life lessons we can and should teach our children and students.
Take the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory at www.thetimeparadox.com to discover your personal time perspective.
Visit our website, "http://www.timecure.com/" \t "_blank" www.timecure.com, to view a free 20 minute video - The River of Time; you’ll learn self-soothing techniques as well as how to let go of past negatives, work towards a brighter future, and live in a more compassionate present.
See The Time Cure: Overcoming PTSD with the New Psychology of Time Perspective "http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/psychotherapy" \o "Psychology Today looks at Psychotherapy" Therapy (Zimbardo, Sword & Sword, 2012, Wiley Publishing); for strategies to reduce stress and improve communication, visit "http://www.timecure.com/" \o "www.timecure.com" \t "_blank" www.timecure.com and "http://www.lifehut.com/" \o "www.lifehut.com" \t "_blank" www.lifehut.com.
Photos: googleimages.com and dreamstime.com