How to Defeat Excuse-Making

by | Apr 23, 2024

Renowned psychologist Walter Mischel documented the connection between long-term, noteworthy accomplishments and delayed gratification.

It all started with the famous Stanford marshmallow experiments done in the early ‘70s where children were given the choice of eating one marshmallow now or waiting to receive two marshmallows later.

The research suggested that successful individuals focus attention on monitoring progress towards the goal and do whatever necessary to make it possible.

Planning, future-oriented activities, and controlling one’s own emotions require delaying gratification.

These fundamental skills allow a person to have control over stimuli rather than being controlled by them.

For many hiring managers, this is the struggle going through their minds when faced with completing the unpleasant tasks of recruiting.

Instead of delaying gratification and staying focused on the end goal, they listen to the internal voices that tell them things like:

I’ll just work with my own agents and make them more productive.

I don’t want to appear too aggressive, so I’ll wait for this prospect to contact me.

I don’t think my follow-ups are making a difference—do I really need to spend time on this?

Embracing a delayed gratification mindset starts with believing that overcoming excuse-making is both possible and necessary.


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