Life Hacks, More experienced Investors, New To Finance, Review

On Marshmallows and Will Power

What’s this big fuss about Marshmallows anyway?

In the series of Marshmallow books, Joachim de Posada and his co-writers describe the life of a man called Arthur, who learns the advantages that delayed gratification can give to individuals who are able to develop this skill.

This doesn’t just have applications in corporate life, it also has applications for study, exercise, diet, hobbies, financial life, and can be applied to reduce all addictive behaviours.

Often when I want something, I really want it.

Chocolate.

Coffee.

Shopping.

Fair enough.

But what if I were able to minimise my coffee consumption so I only had one cup per day?

Would that improve my life?

In some ways, certainly: I’d have a lot of personal satisfaction from the fact that I was less addicted to caffeine; I’d have the dopamine-hit gladness that comes with achieving any goal; and I’d be exercising my ‘delayed gratification muscles’.

What about shopping?

What if I were to limit my spending on un-necessary items to $50 per fortnight? What if I were to put the rest of that money into long-term savings or investments? What if I kept doing that for 15, 30, 45 years? Would that make a difference in my life?

You bet your Granma’s sweet red dressing gown it would.

Joachim de Posada describes an experiment that took place in the years leading up to 1990, where researchers at Stanford University put a marshmallow in front of a pre-school age child, told the child that they would give them two marshmallows if they waited 15 minutes, walked out of the room, and left the child to decide whether to eat one marshmallow or wait for two.

The children who were able to wait for two marshmallows did better across a range of indicators 20 years later. They were happier. They did better socially. Their grades were better. They were more successful at work.

It’s interesting.

Delayed gratification is interesting. It’s a muscle you can exercise. It’s a habit you can learn. And most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Just do a tiny bit at a time. One step then the next then the next, but Tiny steps. Be kind.

Comment below what you would change in your life, if you set your mind to it, gently.

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By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.

I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching Big Bang Theory for finance nerds.

Anything you take from this blog is your responsibility. Nothing in this blog, even if you are mentioned by name, address, and telephone number, pertains to your personal situation. Anything you agree with, or disagree with, you are welcome to comment on, but your opinions belong to you. You are responsible for your comments. If they are offensive, I will remove them.

http://www.nuancedtruths.com

https://www.patreon.com/gillspracticalbookkeeping

Review

How to be Happy (Yes, even you).

I have lots of great relationships. I have good friends. I have good relationships with my family. I keep in touch with people. I give Christmas presents. My life is full of great relationships.

And my sister doesn’t talk to me.

In his book, Hardwiring Happiness, Rick Hanson argues that negative experiences are like Velcro, but positive experiences are like Teflon. That one negative experience will stick more, and take up more of our mental space than all of the positive experiences. That one difficult relationship will bother me more, than all the good from all the good relationships I have. Luckily, Rick Hanson provides an antidote to this.

He argues that whatever you don’t want to feel you need to spend 12 seconds to one minute feeling the opposite, as often as you catch yourself feeling that feeling you don’t want to feel. So, if you often feel afraid, you could spend 12 seconds feeling safe and secure several times per day. You could spend time remembering when you’ve been safe in the past, or imagining when you’ll be safe in the future. The aim is to deeply experience safety and security.

Neuro-plasticity is a new buzz word, but this is an excellent example of the mind and body’s ability to change itself and grow. You can literally change your brain’s defaults; your emotional reality, just by working on it for 12 seconds several times per day. So what’s the opposite of your regular emotions? Do you feel anxious and afraid all the time? Practise feeling safe and secure. Do you feel alone or like a failure? Practise feeling a sense of achievement or a sense of connection. Do you feel unloved or unappreciated? Practise feeling like other people adore you, or you’re fine just the way you are.

The point is not to ignore reality—reality might be that you need to be afraid of something real. This is for people who have “Velcro” negative experiences and want to get out of their innate negativity.

I’ve tried it, and I definitely felt better. Rick Hanson, Hardwiring Happiness: Highly recommended.

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By reading this blog, you agree that you read it under your own risk, and Gill’s Practical Bookkeeping is in no way responsible for any harm or prejudice to yourself, your business, or any fictional examples above.

I am not a financial advisor. I do not have an AFSL. I am a chick who likes to read, think, write, and has access to google. You should treat this blog with the same seriousness that you would treat anyone whose main qualification is access to google. This blog is for entertainment purposes only. It’s a little like watching Big Bang Theory for finance nerds.

Anything you take from this blog is your responsibility. Nothing in this blog, even if you are mentioned by name, address, and telephone number, pertains to your personal situation. Anything you agree with, or disagree with, you are welcome to comment on, but your opinions belong to you. You are responsible for your comments. If they are offensive, I will remove them.

http://www.nuancedtruths.com

https://www.patreon.com/gillspracticalbookkeeping