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everything you want you need

May 18, 2009

I read an article about a psychological study on self-control in children. Four-year-olds were left in a room alone and told not to eat the marshmallows sitting in front of them. The videotape showed how the kids tried to control their desire for the treats. The successful ones put their hands over their eyes or hid under the table and sang to themselves. Unsuccessful strategies included staring hard at the marshmallows or stroking them softly with chubby fingers.  Ruminating over the object of desire almost always leads to marshmallow consumption.  The researchers found they could increase the children’s self-discipline by asking them to pretend the marshmallow was a cloud. Imagine. Mind control as it was meant to be practiced. Learning to use your brain is no different from learning how to fall in love. You have to get hurt a few times before you know how to apply a defense mechanism. Pretend your boyfriend is a cloud. Cumulonimbus perhaps: tall, building alone or in clusters, sometimes forming along a cold front which in certain atmospheric conditions will create lightening through the heart of the cloud.

Don’t like the weather? Wait 10 minutes.

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