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Find Your Marshmallow

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

“You can’t fail if you don’t quit.” – Unknown


It is a graduation season like none I can recall for high school and college students who are completing their studies and finding new ways to celebrate their accomplishments.

I have invested a lot of my comments in this weekly message about what we might build new during these unprecedented times as we prepare to go forward. Yet, a recent column in The Atlantic with advice to graduates has me pondering what to hold on to from the hard work that saw us through.

Note: the article is from the weekly series How to Build a Life by Arthur C. Brooks and is titled 4 Rules for Identifying Your Life’s Work

Brooks writes about the Stanford marshmallow experiment that studied delayed gratification to describe how this year’s graduates have invested in their education, “deferring consumption and gratification all these years,” in order to prepare for their career journey.

So what about the rest of us who had invested so much in our work prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, have spent so much on maintaining our work and our teams during it, and are now going forward?

Until mid-March, our team had embarked on a new mission, completely reset our work plan, and had built an impressive team and board of directors, all of which continues today. We have deferred much of our 2020 work plan, but I am confident that plan is our marshmallow.

What about you? What is the marshmallow you are waiting for and might now be ready to claim as your reward for hard work and perseverance?

– Alan Tio