by Nir Eyal, Julie Li
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Part 1 of Indistractable is dedicated to the art of mastering our internal triggers. The author divides this Part as follows:
For mastering internal triggers we have to understand what motivates us, what's the root cause of our hunger for distraction.
We first need to diferentiate the root cause from the proximate causes, e.g. A task is boring for me (root cause) so I use my smartphone (proximate cause) to scroll over social media (proximate cause). It's me who decides to get distracted with my smartphone due to my boredom, the smartphone is just a tool which I use to get distracted.
All motivation is a desire to escape discomfort and anything which stops discomfort is potentially addictive, but not irresistible.
"Only by understanding our pain can we begin to control it and find better ways to deal with negative urges."
Distraction cost us time, and, like all actions, they are driven by the desire to escape discomfort.
As human beings, we have tendencies towards dissatisfaction and discomfort, which can play both against us or in favor.
Dissatisfaction is the driving force of our species' evolution, when alligned with curiosity and creativity it moves us forward.
For mastering distraction we must learn to deal with discomfort.
"If satisfaction and pleasure were permanent, there might be little incentive to continue seeking further benefits or advances."
With no techniques for defusing temptation, mental abstinence can backfire. Resisting an impulse can cause rumination and reinforce desire.
We can deal with distractions that come from within by changing the way we think about them. It is possible to re-imagine the trigger, the task and our temperament.
"An endless circle of resisting, ruminating, and finally giving in to the desire perpetuates the cycle and quite possibly drives many of our unwanted behaviours."
We can't control what we feel and think, but we can control what we do with them. Discover how in four simple steps:
"It's a curious truth that when you gently pay attention to negative emotions, they tend to dissipate - but positive ones expand."
Through fun and play we can hold focus easier and combat our internal triggers of distraction. By doing it so we can transform any task into irresistible, we just need to take it as seriously as it deserves.
Play doesn't have to be pleasurable. It just has to hold our attention.
Curiosity is key to holding our focus and from curiosity any task can be fun to perform.
Deliberateness and novelty can be added to any task to make it fun.
"Fun is looking for the variability in something other people don't notice. It's breaking through the boredom and monotonoy to discover its hidden beauty."
Reinventing our temperament can help us manage our internal triggers.
We don't run out of willpower. Believing we do makes us less likely to accomplish our goals, by providing a rationale to quit when we could otherwise persist.
What we say to ourselves matters. Labelling yourself as having poor self-control is self defeating.
Practise self-compassion. Talk to yourself the way you'd talk to a friend. People who are more self-compassionate are more resilient.
"People who did not see willpower as a finite resource did not show signs of ego depletion."
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I'm a 23 yo life-passionated living in Barcelona. I write about many different topic books I read, as well as TED Talks and many other content.
These ideas are a summary of the Part 1 of Indistractable - Master Internal Triggers. Soon I will publish more ideas respecting the remaining parts of the book in order to go deeper as it deserves.
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