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The Marshmallow Test – The Payoff of Delayed Gratification


If you’ve never heard of the marshmallow test, it’s worth knowing about.

From Wikipedia:

The Stanford marshmallow experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by psychologist Walter Mischel, then a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one small reward (a marshmallow) provided immediately or two small rewards (i.e., a larger later reward) if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned.

In follow-up studies, years later, the researchers found that those children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures.

It’s a simple choice in this experiment, “one marshmallow now or two later?”

That is a variation of the same choice that each of us make every single day when it comes to a multitude of decisions in our lives.

Indulge in the thing right in front of us or make a disciplined choice now and receive more blessings later on?

In Take the Stairs we called this dynamic the Paradox Principle of Sacrifice.

Which simply stated is this: Easy short term choices lead to difficult long term consequences.

Meanwhile, difficult short term choices lead to better long term consequences.

That’s the payoff of self-discipline.

And self-control is the brother of self-discipline.

If self-discipline is doing things you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them.

Then self-control is not doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

But both of them have the same result: long term rewards.

Long term gain.

Long term satisfaction.

Long term happiness.

Doing the right thing in the short term is what creates the better life in the long run.

We often think of these things as “sacrifices” but they aren’t sacrifices.

A sacrifice is giving something up that you never get back.

Good decisions aren’t sacrifices at all.

Good decisions are short term down payments on rich future blessings.

Of course, this idea is nothing new.

Hebrews 12:11 said it this way 2000 years ago:

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time. Yet it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Think about that: “a harvest of righteousness and peace…”

Isn’t that what you want?

A harvest of righteousness and peace.

An abundance of blessings, good fortune, and calm faith.

A life filled with joy and free from stress.

Those things are available for your future.

They are available by the choices you make today.

They are available by doing the things now that you know you should be doing even when you don’t feel like doing them.

And by not doing things you know you shouldn’t be doing.

They are available through a little self-discipline and self-control expanded consistently.

In every area of your life, sow today for your harvest tomorrow.

The Misconception People Have About Sales


If you think “sales” is a bad word, then you’re thinking about it wrong.

You may think of it poorly because you’ve had a bad experience or maybe even because you’ve had bad information.

“Sales” sometimes gets a bad reputation because even sales-people often misunderstand their role and the value they provide.

Too many salespeople think of selling as “talking people into things.”

But sales is not about talking people into things at all.

Sales should be thought more of as serving people.

In fact, at Southwestern Consulting, we often use the term Servant Selling to help reinforce the core of what true professional salesmanship is all about.

Servant Selling is about helping people make decisions about what is best for them.

Servant Selling is about helping people make their lives better.

Servant Selling isn’t something you do “to” people; it’s something you do “for” people.

People need help understanding options.

People need help coming up with solutions.

People need help finding answers.

People need help overcoming fear.

People need help pushing past procrastination.

People need help making decisions.

And those are all things that a highly trained, well coached, professional salesperson will help them with!

Professional sales people help people make better decisions.

And that is an extremely valuable service.

When someone has a negative connotation around “Sales” it’s because they typically understand it as adversarial.

As in, it’s the salesperson vs the prospect. And it’s a battle and a fight to the finish about who is going to win…

Will the prospect be able to hold out or will the salesperson have the magic words to convince someone and pressure them to buy something they don’t really want?!


That’s not selling.

Servant Selling isn’t adversarial at all.

Servant Selling is never about the salesperson winning and the prospect losing; its always about the prospect winning.

Because Servant Selling isn’t about the salesperson vs the prospect; it’s about the prospect vs some challenge, opportunity, or problem the prospect is trying to overcome in their life.

In that way, Servant Selling is the salesperson and the prospect together, on the same team, working side by side to try and find a solution to make the prospect’s life better.

The salesperson is serving the prospect.

The salesperson is supporting the prospect.

The salesperson is helping the prospect.

And sales doesn’t happen through one way communication; it happens through a conversation.

It happens through a dialogue.

It happens through the salesperson asking questions, listening, and understanding the prospect’s situation first.

And then offering solutions to help them make their life better.

So if you want a more accurate way to think of professional salesmanship…

Think of it as a conversation about someone’s needs, where we ask them questions and understand their situation.

Then, we enthusiastically show them options that will hopefully solve those problems, and then we gracefully lead them through a decision process that helps them make a choice that’s best for them.

Sometimes they buy and that’s great! Sometimes they don’t, and that’s okay too.

The role of an expert sales professional is to just help them make a decision about what’s best for them.

Think of it as a partnership.

Think of it as helping.

Think of it as serving.

Productivity and How to Say No with John Lee Dumas – Episode 178 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


John Lee Dumas is the Founder and Host of EOFire, an award winning Podcast where he chats with today’s most successful Entrepreneurs 7-days a week. With over 1400 interviews to date and multi-millions a year in net revenue, JLD has shown how delivering free, valuable, and consistent content can create a successful business and impact the world!

Show Highlights:

  • Productivity is producing the RIGHT things on a daily basis. @johnleedumas
  • What is productive to you may not be productive to someone else. @johnleedumas
  • Self-evaluation is necessary to know what productivity looks like for you. @johnleedumas
  • Discipline is setting up plan and executing step by step. @johnleedumas
  • To be disciplined, you have to be a disciple of your day. @johnleedumas
  • I want to spend the best parts of my day producing the content that matters. @johnleedumas
  • We are human all going to shift and slide so we need an anchor like the mastery journal. @johnleedumas
  • Pencils of promise’s mission is to give the gift of education to those less fortunate. @johnleedumas
  • When you feel overwhelmed by something you have to break it down to the first, most actionable thing. @rory_vaden
  • Rory shares 5 Indicators you should say no to something.
  • If something drains you – say no or replace it with something that is life-giving. @rory_vaden
  • If you’re not good at something – say no to it. @rory_vaden
  • There is always someone out there that loves to do the thing that you don’t. @rory_vaden
  • Say no to anything that does not align with your goals. @rory_vaden
  • You multiple time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spend time on things today that create more time tomorrow. @rory_vaden
  • You’re always battling what feels good in the short term to create good in the long term. @rory_vaden
  • Any time you say yes to something you are simultaneously saying no to an infinite number of other things. @rory_vaden
  • Perfection is achieved not only when nothing can be added but when nothing more can be taken away. – sculptors principle

Click here to get your copy of The Mastery Journal!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to Let Go of Feeling “Busy”


“I’m SO busy.”

You hear it all the time.

In fact we hear it so much, we should all just assume that everyone is that way and we can all stop saying it.

Because there is a maximum level of busy.

There are only 168 hours in a week, and if every single hour is planned and occupied, then you’ve reached the maximum level of busy.

However, there is no maximum capacity to your mental toughness.

There is no maximum capacity to your peace of mind.

There is no maximum capacity for your ability to handle stress.

Which means that the mental capacity of what you can handle should far exceed the physical and finite time constraints of what you have available in your calendar.

Multipliers seem to have figured out that carrying stress isn’t a necessary prerequisite of having success.

Anxiety isn’t an automatic byproduct of achievement.

And busy isn’t a mandatory requirement of building greatness.

You don’t have to be stressed.

You don’t have to feel anxiety.

You don’t have to feel busy.

Those are all choices that you allow yourself to make.

Those are all emotions that you allow yourself to feel.

But you are bigger than your problems.

You are tougher than your challenges.

And you are stronger than your challenges.

So you can let those feelings die because they aren’t serving you.

You can stop telling yourself that “you’re so busy” because it’s not new information to you that your calendar is full.

And you can stop telling everyone how busy you are so that maybe we all can stop this invisible competition about who has the most going on.

Instead, all of us can move on to getting things done powerfully, productively, and peacefully.

All the while knowing that if we’re working as hard as we can, doing the best we know how to do with what we’ve been given, then no one – including ourselves – can ask us to do anything more.

Clayton Morris: Financial Freedom and Multiplying Time – Episode 157 of The Action Catalyst Podcast


Clayton Morris is the weekend anchor for FOX & Friends on The FOX News Channel, husband and father of two (almost three) amazing children. He is a real estate investor with a passion for helping people reach financial freedom.

Show Highlights:

  • There has been a shift in software design towards simplicity. @ClaytonMorris
  • Our brain is not meant to house extraneous tasks. @ClaytonMorris
  • In today’s digital age our perceived threats are different. @ClaytonMorris
  • For most people, we have about 1 “power hour” of true focus and productivity.  @ClaytonMorris
  • Most of us aren’t pursuing meaningful goals in this digital age and that’s the problem. @ClaytonMorris
  • We must allow more space in our lives to pursue our meaningful goals. @ClaytonMorris
  • Digital anxiety comes from not knowing where we’re going and what we’re doing.  @ClaytonMorris
  • The way wealthy people think about money is the same way multipliers think about time. @rory_vaden
  • Time is not money- Time is worth way more than money. @rory_vaden
  • Automation is to your time what compounding interest is to your money. @rory_vaden
  • Rory shares the 5 steps to get out of financial and time debit.

You can find Clayton and learn about the Freedom number by visiting

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!


How long are you going to wait?


How Long are you going to wait

What is it going to take to get you to act?

How many days are you going to let pass while you think about your dream but never act on it?

And what exactly are you waiting for?

What if you were the only person who could do what you were designed to do?

What if no one else existed with the capacity and ability to do what you could do?

And what if you missed it?

What if you waited too long?

What if you missed your chance to make a difference?

What if you missed your chance to do the thing that only you could do?

How would that feel?

What would you tell your kids?

What would you tell yourself?

Because that’s how it is.

That is what happens when you don’t act.

That is what happens when you don’t do what you know you should do.

That is what happens when you procrastinate.

Don’t be that person.

Don’t lose that dream.

You were born for greatness.

You were born for a purpose.

You were born with a specific intention for your life laid out by God that no one else can fill.

Today is the day.

Now is the time.

The time to act.

The time to leave fear behind.

The time to do the thing that you know you were meant to do.

The time to make a difference.

Don’t be the one who looks back and says “it’s too late.”

Don’t be the one who says “I wonder if I could’ve.”

Be the one who says I did.

I changed the damn world.

I reshaped the future.

I did what no one else could do.

I made a difference.

I mattered.

I did it.