A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life? Psychologist Walter Mischel proves here that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. Positing that willpower can be taught and harnessed, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life: weight control, quitting smoking, making major decisions, planning for retirement, and even overcoming heartbreak.