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Today, we’re going to talk about a little thing called delayed gratification. A study was done in the 1960s by psychologist Dr. Walter Mischel. And it involved Oreo cookies (my kind of experiment)… He gathered a group of elementary school children and promised each of them either…

  1. ONE Oreo cookie now…
  2. Or TWO Oreo cookies if they waited until later…

Then he placed each kid alone in a room to stare at the single cookie, timing how long it took him to break and eat it. Some kids ate the cookie immediately.  Others used coping mechanisms like turning their back to the cookie, singing, or even throwing the cookie across the room to hold off. In the end, Mischel found that some kids held off well and others didn’t.  But what happened next is the really interesting part… Years later, when he checked back in with these same “Oreo-tested” kids, he found that the kids who were able to wait for two cookies when they were younger scored 210 points higher on their SATs (on average) than those who couldn’t help but dive in. The ability to delay gratification, he determined, is an ability that ultimately makes you more successful. And, since coping mechanisms can be taught to help you strengthen your will power, this is something we should consider helping kids do to improve their academic stature when they age.  It’s something you can do, too, to help your success in travel writing. Yes, the real benefits of travel writing come out when you’re traveling.  It’s fun to go on trips around the world.  It’s fun to get free room upgrades, tours, cruises, and spa treatments. But if you can train yourself to be persistent in the beginning… to think through the ideas you send to editors and to approach them in the right way… to deliver your stories on time and in exactly the manner you promised them… … then I think you’ll find more success.  You’ll get invited on more trips, and you’ll land more bylines. Share on Facebook [Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]

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