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Marsh Mallow Theory: Story of Patience

Marsh Mallow Theory

In school, the class teacher handed out a delicious toffee to all the children in his class and put a strange condition on them. “Listen, kids! You all don’t have to eat your toffee for the next ten minutes,” he said, and left the classroom.

A moment of silence followed in the classroom. All the kids were staring at the toffee kept in front of them, and finding it increasingly difficult to contain their excitement with every passing moment.

The teacher entered the classroom ten minutes later. He reviewed the situation and discovered that there were seven children in the whole class who had not eaten their toffees, while all the other children were raving about the colour and taste of the toffee after eating it.

The teacher secretly recorded the names of these seven children in his diary and then began teaching. The name of this teacher was Walter Mischel.

After a few years, Walter opened his diary and took out the names of the seven children and got information about them. He learned that all these seven children had achieved good success in their respective fields.

He also inquired about the remaining students of the same class and found that most of them were leading a simple life, and there were some who were facing difficult economic and social circumstances.

Walter’s research led him to conclude in one sentence that –

“A person who cannot be patient for just ten minutes, can never progress in life.”

This research gained worldwide fame, and it came to be known as the “Marsh Mallow Theory” as the toffee the teacher, Walter gave to the children was “Marsh Mallow”.

According to this theory, the most successful people in the world are always characterized by patience along with many other qualities. Since patience increases a person’s tolerance, he does not get discouraged even in adverse situations, remains motivated, and becomes a successful person.

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