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But what do we mean by "worth"? Does self-discipline today really pay off later in life -- in jobs, paychecks, promotions and bonuses, professional prestige and wealth? Surprisingly, given the importance of employment to well-being and the global economy, the link between self-control and job success has not been thoroughly studied.
Until now. Psychological scientist Michael Daly of the University of Stirling, UK, and his colleagues have, for the first time, been investigating the link between childhood self-discipline and job success in adulthood. The benefits of self-control in a work setting seem readily apparent. Ignoring distractions, perseverance in the face of difficulty, conscientiousness in general -- these traits all make for good workers. Daly and colleagues wanted to see if these benefits begin to accrue early in life and persist into and throughout adulthood.