Happy New Year folks!
It’s quite daunting to think that we’re now a year on from what Robert Zemeckis’s deemed to be the future in the 1989 ‘Back To The Future 2’. We don’t have hover boards yet, unfortunately, but we do have more of a dress sense, thankfully and in any case it’s a much more accurate representation than what ‘Space 1999’ must have been in 1999. It’s interesting to see how others perceive the future and 2016 is unwritten so what will those in 2017 be looking back on this year? Will you invent that new Smartphone that defies belief, or actually get a working hover board to market on Kickstarter, since I imagine all hover boards would be have to be kick-started anyway right?
In any case it’s time to think big, and I mean REALLY BIG! In our new age of ‘appreneurs’ and boy-wonders sat in their bedrooms creating the next thing to rival Facebook there’s a lot of competition. I hope 2016 will be a historic year and why not make it a year to get that idea of yours off the ground and into the hemisphere! To do so it might help to ask yourself:
Are you future focused?
I read an interesting article recently about the Marshmallow experiment conducted forty years ago at Stanford University, using subjects from their local nursery school. Many of you probably know this but these 4-year-olds were each given a marshmallow and told that they could eat it now but if they waited 15 minutes they would get a second one and could eat both. 30% of the kids waited, meaning 70% just caved in to that marshmallow goey-ness. Since then this experiment has been conducted at numerous places around the world, revealing that same ratio each time. Now whether the size of their breakfast was taken into account I don’t know (just saying that was my excuse).
Interestingly 15 years later those researchers caught up with the children and found that the 30% who waited went on to become high achievers and were generally more successful, where as the others not so much. I believe those children assessed the benefit – being rewarded 50% more in the future outweighed waiting a little in the present, time was their investment. This ability to comprehend greater future gratification over present is therefore a good indicator of future success because it shows planning and forward thinking. The future is the way for innovation, so if you can see ahead then you’re looking in the right direction right?
So which are you; are you the type of person who wants to work harder today so you can reach greater goals in the future or do you take each day as it comes, enjoying each day in the moment? I personally think you want a balance of both, maybe have half a bite of the marshmallow. Enjoy the present and get a little return in the future. Work hard toward your future goals, but be mindful of the present, so that life doesn’t pass you by.
I hope all of you will think about the Marshmallow experiment and reflect on which one of those kids you think you are. If forward thinking rewards Marshmallows, surely being able to self reflect must earn you some Smarties!
Bring on 2016!