Life & Liberty




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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 30, 2017: Del Rio News-Herald * LOCAL * Letter to the Editor * What is the greatest predictor of success?

Letter to the Editor,

Greatest Predictor of Success

What is the greatest predictor of success? 

Success: meaning happiness, financial security and relationships.

Is it wealth, intelligence, hard work, or good looks?

It is none of these. 

The greatest predictor of success is the ability to delay gratification.

In a "Stossel in the Classroom" segment, John Stossel spoke about a research study conducted using marshmallows that demonstrated the value of self-denial.
In the study originally done in the 1960s, social scientists took four-year-old children and the moderator would say, “I have a marshmallow for you. You may eat it right now, or, if you can wait until I return in 15 minutes, I will give you a second marshmallow. 

In the original study and in every reproduction, one third of the children were able to avoid eating their marshmallow. 

Researchers followed up on the children and 100% of those that had not eaten the marshmallow were successful. 

The children who did not eat their marshmallow within the 15 minute time period scored an average of 213 points higher on their SATs. 

They were happier and healthier. 

They had more money, they had better relationships and they were less likely to get into trouble than those children who had not been able to resist the treat.

Research showed that children who did eat the marshmallow were more likely to struggle in life.

They had more relationship troubles, didn’t do as well financially and tended to be less happy.

As much as the culture of instant gratification and self-indulgence would like us to believe that it is guiding us to the greener pastures of personal fulfillment, self satisfaction and ultimate pleasure and joy; the reality is that no one is brought to greater happiness.

Selfishness pulls us into a cavern of darkness which leads us deeper and deeper inside until we have lost our way and cannot find the light.

Self-denial is good for us, it reaps great rewards.

Self-denial is about opening doors and widening our options; because actually, self-denial begets long-term happiness and success.

Congratulations Graduates!

Marian Casillas, Ed.D.
Del Rio