The “Stanford Marshmallow Study” on delayed gratification that was conducted in the late 1960’s and 70’s gave children a choice between one small reward (one marshmallow) provided immediately, or two small rewards (two marshmallows) if they were able to wait a short period of time, for approximately 15 minutes. In follow up studies, the researchers found that the children who were able to wait longer (delay their gratification) for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, educational attainment, etc. Simply put, they went further in life and achieved more than their counterparts due to their early ability in realizing that success comes with sacrifice. They, essentially, were already conditioning their minds to be stronger than their flesh.
I remember having to make certain “choices” regarding the trajectory of my life at the age of 20. I could either stay in Chicago, around all that was familiar to me, or I could leave home, attend Yale University, and immerse myself in something completely new. I come from a large, close-knit family so that was an extremely difficult choice that I had to make.
Throughout my young adult years, sacrifice was essential to my success, often synonymous at times. I commuted far for Graduate School and did not see my friends or family as often. I could not date because of the time commitment of Graduate School, working to put myself through school, and Clinicals (my M.A. is in I-O Psychology). I sacrificed my love life, time spent with family and friends, spent many sleepless nights studying, etc.
When I graduated, I began traveling internationally. I met the man I thought I would marry. Years later, upon breaking up, it took everything within me to leave because I felt like, by leaving, I was sacrificing my very real dreams of being a wife and mother in my 30’s. I was afraid of starting over. of making the “sacrifice” to get to know someone new.
Many of my friends and colleagues, fellow entrepreneurs, have realized and lived their lives with the oftentimes unspoken fact that success comes with sacrifice. I am the Founder/Creator of the Popular Children’s Book Series, “The Violet Book Series”. However, for today, I will focus on the part of my life that “The Violet Book Series” grew out of, the part that garners the most “shock value” from adults oftentimes. That is my choice to be celibate until marriage. Yes, delayed gratification at one of it’s highest forms. I speak to youth and adults on the topic of Celibacy, Self-care, and Purpose through my other brand, “The Sprinkle of Love”.
The choice to be celibate was not a difficult one but the implementation of it was. The first year was the hardest, pulling my flesh under submission to my mind. I have had to deal with the social stigmas, rejection, and, at times, self-doubt. I tackled this lifestyle change in the same manner one would tackle having a strong desire to loose weight. I had to change a lot of my physical environment and what I exposed myself to. I was in the gym like crazy, burning off energy and becoming physically healthy while reading books that supported my decision to be celibate, etc. I stopped drinking alcohol so I would not move off impulse and have delayed response time. Again, that was a benefit to my health. I was sleeping better, working out, and traveling, sometimes hot, but overall peaceful and healthy. My business, “The Violet Book Series” literally expanded as if over night because I was also putting a lot of my extra energy into my Company.
The choice to become celibate is one that was years in the making for me. I am a feminine woman who fell in love with love early on. The type of love that says there is one man for one woman. I grew up believing that my body was sacred, only meant for my husband. As life sometimes happens, I eventually gave into peer pressure. I gave into Men who said that the only way they knew how to express and feel loved in return was only if I were having sex with them. With every encounter however, I was not being true to myself and that was not helping my spirit. Now, in my adult years, working with and loving children, I desired to have my own, to be a mom, wife, and have a family. I knew that the level of success in love I desired would come with sacrifice.
However, for my children, for my husband, for my future, the sacrifice would be well worth it. I find that I tend to get off balance when I am around adults who are used to giving into their flesh in that way. There is a fear of the unknown, a question of , “Why would I do that, this is natural to my body, I only know how to love in this way, I need to know what their sex is like before I marry them, etc, etc.” I understand it. I too tend to get off course when I focus too much on the perceived sacrifice versus the success and my reason why. I want there to be no mistake about it, I am all woman and I too desire physical intimacy and strong connections. I too have wants and desires also. The difference is that I now desire to only have that strong connection physically with my husband.
I feel good about not sharing the essence of myself with someone who I am not destined to be with. After each dating encounter, I can walk away with such an amazing feeling of peace behind the thought that I was strong in my mind and sacrificed nothing to that encounter. I also am the protector of the physical bond and connection that is to be between my husband and myself. By practicing sacrifice in one of it’s highest forms, I not only am preparing myself to give of myself in such a tremendous way in marriage but, I am synonymously building an empire that will leave my family with a legacy long after I am gone. That is what I choose to do with the energy I have from pouring into myself that matters. It is how I am choosing to spend my time and with whom I am choosing to share my life with. Now, again, like all sacrifices, it is not easy however, the success, the reward, makes it worth it.
My advice to others would be to think about your reason why. Why are you really doing what you are doing? You don’t feed your body everything you want to, if you want to live longer. That’s the sacrifice you are making for your long term success. The choice to be successful in your career, love life, etc. is no different. Being successful and making sacrifices oftentimes is synonymous.
The battle is always first won in our minds.
Founder & CEO, Let’s Talk Incorporated
Keep up with her on Instagram @kenyattascott_ & @thevioletbookseries