Stuff to Blow Your Mind has an interesting podcast on the topic of Willpower. It has some interesting scientific findings on what affects a person's willpower or the Cub Scout Core Value Perseverance.
It has a lot of implications for Cub Scouting. The influance of glucose at the moment of temptation is interesting. They also talk about how a person's experience with the integrity of others will affect their willpower and self disciple.
I think it makes sense that those experiences will affect a person's ability to persevere. If Billy regularly sees people not following through on what they say, then he will learn not to trust what they say. As he learns to not trust people's statements about the future, it can extend from not trusting people to not trusting the world. Why put off the pleasures of today when you don't expect the promises of tomorrow to be fulfilled, even when you do your part?
It makes me realize that to teach perseverance we need to let the boys see people fulfilling what they say they will do. We have the chance to do that in our activities. I'd never thought of intentionally including those promises and follow through specificly for teaching self-disciple before. It would be worth pointing it out to the kids at times just to be sure they make the connection. It will help to shapre their world view and ability to see the value in perseverance.
That's something that would work from Tigers to Adults.