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Would you like one? Their fluffy, sweet, and tasty or would you maybe prefer to wait until, say I finished this talk if I could promise you a larger reward at the end of it? That is what the children in the now-famous marshmallow test delivered in Stamford in the seventies were asked they were given the choice of having the marshmallow now.

Or perhaps a marshmallow and another treat a little bit later on. And that’s when the experimenters left the room. Now, whilst that experiment is not without its critics, it was a longitudinal study, and the results have found that delayed gratification in other words, not having the marshmallow just yet was actually associated with better life outcomes. We know that a moment on the lips can mean an hour on the treadmill. We also know that a night of passion may lead to a lifetime of regret. So why do we do it? Well, Freud would say we’re driven by the pleasure principle, we want to have it now. Alternatively, the neuroscientists would say it’s the dopamine effect. What happens is whenever we give in to our impulse we get this little hit of dopamine, and that makes us feel so good that it makes us want to do it again. The problem with dopamine, though, is that it’s very powerful, it’s not very discerning, and research has shown that rats would continue to press a lever which would give them an electric shock simply because their brains were also wired up to have the dopamine pathway stimulated, and it’s not helped by our swipe left swipe right culture, you could buy now, pay later, you can only access a limited supply, maybe even get the early bird. The world around us marketing executives, they’re encouraging us to have it right now and consequences be damned. And you know what? Positive psychology has got it on this to seise the day. There’s no time like the present. The only thing. About that is that when it comes to seising the day. That’s the remedy for procrastination. Not necessarily a lifestyle, the problem is our brains are set up to survive and actually, not so long ago, even as early perhaps in our history as the 15 to 18 hundreds, survival didn’t look all that long, it was therefore essential, if not important, at the very least, to make the most of what you have in hand rather than wait later on because later on may not arrive. Between 15 and 1800. The life span was on average, 30 to 40 years. By that calculation, I shouldn’t even be here talking to you today. However, things have changed and technology. Hygiene practises, medicine, they have all improved. And as such now our lifespan can be from 70 to 80 years. Which is fabulous, except for the fact that epidemiologists have warned us recently that because of some of the decisions that we’re making during our current lifespan, we’re actually curtailing our expectancy by years. Type two diabetes. Other diseases that are preventable. All because of lifestyle choices. Meaning that we don’t get to experience the amazing future possibilities and opportunities around us and it’s not just enough to want to reach that future. It’s as important To thrive and flourish within it. So how are we going to enjoy what we have right now as well as preparing ourselves to grasp the opportunities that are possibly around us and are waiting for us? I’m going to give you two tools. The first is a visualisation, and I’d like you to imagine your ideal future self. Where are you living? What are you doing? Who is in your life? What problems are you solving? What legacy are you leaving? Get that image really clear in your mind and you may find that what you’re seeing in your future perhaps is a little bit different from what you’re experiencing right now. That’s why the second bill comes in. Now, you may know this as the mayor will have life, all the coaching wheel, all the well-being will but I’m going to show you how this tool can really help you achieve the future you that you see in your ideal. I want you to draw a circle it doesn’t have to be perfect and the difference between the way I’m creating this tool and using this tool is that you do not need to use even segments to break up that wheel. What I want you to do is to think about that ideal future self, and I want you to break down. The wheel into all the things that you need in your life to make up that ideal so it may be things like family, but for you, family might be really important that might take up a whole quarter of the wheel. That’s okay it might be that. Travel is important to you, but not as important so that might be a little bit smaller. Then you might have a career that might also be important to you, finances, exercising, spirituality, all of those different things that make up your ideal future. So you complete this. You’ve got career, you’ve got exercise, you’ve got spirituality, you’ve got relationships. You’ve got a number of different factors. The next thing, on a scale of zero in the middle to ten on the outside, you need to map on that wheel where you are right now in your current life. So maybe you haven’t actually spent a lot of time with your family. So maybe that’s like a two or three. Maybe travelling. You also haven’t done very much and that’s like one or two maybe your career that’s been going really well. So we’re seven or eight for that exercise. You’re doing, okay. So six or seven maybe you’ve been getting your meditation in your spirituality or your community work or your sense of purpose that might be at also a six or seven. And your relationships with your friends and the people that you love that might be also at a seven or eight. You now have a visual representation of where you are right now, but also you have a little indication of what you might need to do in order to achieve that ideal future you and the reason why I ask you to set your own segments is because when it comes to making your choices as to what to do, where you’re going to improve, you can see that. Both family and travel may be quite low down. But to you or to this person here, family is more important because it takes up more space in that way. And therefore when you have the choice of potentially doing something that may sabotage years of effort, trying to build that future, you or perhaps you’re just at a loose end and wondering what you’re going to do with yourself. You have one question to ask What is it that I can do that’s going to move me one step closer towards my future ideal and a secret second question is what I’m about to do. Can you move me one step away from it? Life is full of decisions and unlike what people presume, that it’s the big decisions that really make the difference. It’s the tiny little choices that we make every single day that become habits and they shape our life so, and I think I’m going to save it for later.