As part of a series on self-improvement on the 99 Percent, Jocelyn K. Glei recounted Walter Mischel’s now iconic Marshmallow Test, which analysed the ability of four year olds to exhibit delayed gratification.
Each child was sat in a room with a marshmallow or donut on the table. They were told by the scientists that they could eat the treat now or, if they waited 15 minutes, have two treats.
All the children wanted to wait, but many simply didn’t have the discipline to and crumbled. Some, however, held out and received the extra treat.
Most interestingly, when scientist checked back on the children years later, those who had the self control to hold out were better behaved, less prone to addiction and scored better in exams. read more about self controlling at https://www.apa.org/ed/precollege/ptn/2014/12/self-control
Self Improvement in Everyday Life
Glei discusses how our day-to-day productivity is often dependent on making the right trade-off decisions.
We are faced with hundreds of these ‘trade-off’ decisions every day.
In the office, these come in the form of e-mails, tweets and notifications. Staying focused and productive requires real self control and discipline; it is so easy to veer off-course.
James Shelley contends that productivity actually boils down to being the disciplined ability to choose to do one thing at the cost of not doing another (often more tempting thing).
You cannot help but relate this to the process of building links, where again, we’re often faced with daily trade-off decisions.
Should you develop a complex, long-term link building strategy, or should you buy that blogroll link?
We know one will be more beneficial long-term, but it’s so, so tempting to buy that directory link and see it right there in front of you today (especially when it’s not your own site you’re charged with getting results for).
Seeing instantaneous links make you feel better about yourself; it justifies why you got up and went to work that morning.
In the future, self-control and patience may well become major factors in separating the more effective SEO campaigns.
We’re told to resist the temptation of convenient low-hanging link-fruit; that the rewards are greater if we have the discipline, strategy and self-control to look at the bigger picture.
At the moment, you can achieve the same or similar ends with the quick-wins as you will with a campaign that requires more sweat and blood.
Everybody wants to implement a complex, mulit-level campaign that’ll yield premium links; but not everyone has the patience required to see through its execution.
The question is then, how and can you balance the trade-off of short-term link gratification with your long term marketing goals?
The children who resisted the temptation of the marshmallow used ‘strategic allocation of attention’.
If you want to change the way you build links, you need to stop obsessing over sites that have employed this technique and had success; otherwise, you won’t be able to resist the temptation.