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Willpower Is Not a Limited Resource

https://forge.medium.com/this-is-what-most-people-get-wrong-about-willpower-72deab39fa59

forge.medium.com

Willpower Is Not a Limited Resource
And the belief that it is can be damaging Y ou come home after a long day of work and immediately curl up on the couch for a few episodes of the latest Netflix craze. As you watch, you're simultaneously scrolling through Twitter on your phone and digging into a bag of potato chips, even though your resolution was to eat healthier.

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Ego depletion

The theory of 'ego depletion' refers to the idea that there is a connection between willpower and one's limited reserve of mental energy. 

However, evidence has been brought to support a...

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A self-defeating state of mind

Having a self-defeating state of mind makes one believe that he or she is not able to achieve certain goals, by providing a logical reason to give up.

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Willpower as emotion

According to the psychology professor Michael Inzlicht, the individual is able to control his or her willpower, taking into account current feelings and events. 

This is perceived as a d...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The Ego-Depletion myth

One of the most popular folk psychology may be the belief that self-control is somehow "spent."

The idea received support in the late 1990s and has been cited ove...

The ego-depletion study error

A recent study that involved over 2,000 participants attempted to reproduce the experiment that led to the ego-depletion theory but found no evidence of ego depletion.

Scholars looked into a 2010 meta-analysis of nearly 200 experiments and discovered that the meta-analysis showed a "publication bias" in which studies that produced contradictory evidence were not included.

Looking at willpower differently

The idea of ego depletion may have caught on because it satisfies a need to justify why we sometimes do things we know we shouldn't.

Instead of looking for an excuse, we should perhaps accept that we are fragile, distractible beings and cut ourselves some slack. Maybe our waning energy and wandering minds are trying to tell us something.

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Ego Depletion

Ego Depletion

Ego depletion happens when people use up their available willpower on one task.

We all have natural urges, desires, and tendencies that demand attention. When we curb those ...

Self Control

People having a high level of self-control experience better relationships and have higher achievement levels. Lack of self-control is associated with social conflict and low-grade academic performance.

Example: While following a diet regime, a person spends a lot of willpower the whole day trying to avoid junk food, but by the end of the day, all his mental energy has been exhausted, and there is no self-control left, resulting in snacking on unhealthy food.

Causes of Ego Depletion

Many emotional and physical factors contribute to ego depletion, like:

  • Emotional distress
  • Struggling to learn something new
  • Mental fatigue due to anxiety
  • Low levels of blood sugar
  • Too much choice
  • Conflicting beliefs and actions (cognitive dissonance)
  • Heart Rate
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Being young and immature.

Copying successful people

Putting highly successful people on a pedestal can unknowingly hinder our own efforts. We get caught in comparisons and it’s easy to forget that they’ve had and still have their own set of struggle...

Maximize every moment

Working well is not about maximizing every waking moment of the day, in order to get more done. And the focus on maximizing time may actually diminish our creativity.

Instead, try identifying and focusing on the few hours of the day you are most productive.

Setting Big Goals

To achieve sustainable productivity habits, it’s best to build up with easily achievable tasks.

Small chunks of accomplishment will amount to something big eventually.