Shared joy is double joy, according to a Swedish proverb. My claim is this: postponing happiness adds an extra multiplier to it. That is, for joy, you are intrinsically and consciously willing to put off.
Now it seems that the famous Stanford Marshmallow Experiment has aged. In this experiment, children were given one marshmallow and were told that if they wouldn’t eat it and wait for a little while, they would get another marshmallow. Keep in mind that, as a kid, with a marshmallow underneath your nose, fifteen minutes feel like an eternity. Scientists believed that the kids who went through the effort of waiting did better in life later on.
This theory has recently been debunked. New evidence shows that the kids who wait for the marshmallow aren’t necessarily outperforming their so-called greedier counterparts.
Regardless of the ability of a (young) child to resist temptation, there is a large body of literature claiming many beneficial effects related to deferred gratification. As our world becomes increasingly frictionless, patience is a virtue that most of us lack, today maybe more so than ever before.
Good things come to those who wait. We have to be willing to wait and encourage this behavior in ourselves and children to go from double joy, to triple joy.