The Power of Temptation

We all know what it’s like to be tempted, and we each have our own threshold for self-control. Whether it’s procrastination, eating junk food, reckless sex, whatever it may be, we all have the things in our life that make our knees weak and our hearts beat fast.

When that feeling of temptation overcomes your body, how do you handle it? When you feel it seducing and alluring you, when it makes you feel like the pleasure is too much to resist, do you give in? And, is that a bad thing? Isn’t life about seeking experiences that are pleasurable?

Unfortunately, giving into temptation can slam you with consequences that can be hard to live with. I can think of many examples of how temptation has defeated and taken down even the strongest people.

This is the first example that comes to my mind:

Did you know that temptation even affects children?

To test the power of temptation on children, Walter Mischel at Stanford University conducted a ‘marshmallow experiment’ with a group of children in the 1960s. According to YouTube, “A group of four-year olds were given a marshmallow and promised another, only if they could wait 20 minutes before eating the first one. Some children could wait and others could not. The researchers then followed the progress of each child into adolescence, and demonstrated that those with the ability to wait were better adjusted and more dependable (determined via surveys of their parents and teachers), and scored an average of 210 points higher on the Scholastic Aptitude Test.”

This test is shocking to me. I never thought that the degree to which we are able to resist temptation is correlated to aptitude. Does that mean that people who remain strong when faced with temptation are more intelligent? Hmm… you be the judge.

This video was just posted to YouTube a few days ago and it’s already going nuts with views, this is very cool stuff!