The best way to exercise self-control is not to exercise it at all | Psyche Ideas - Deepstash

deepstash

Beta

deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

The best way to exercise self-control is not to exercise it at all | Psyche Ideas

https://psyche.co/ideas/the-best-way-to-exercise-self-control-is-not-to-exercise-it-at-all

psyche.co

The best way to exercise self-control is not to exercise it at all | Psyche Ideas
Accept it: your self-control is weak. You’re more likely to reach long-term goals if you find ways to avoid temptation

4

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Self-Control Failures

Self-Control Failures

Self-control is basically restraining yourself from doing something that may feel good in the short run, but may not be in your best interests in the long run. This includes not gorging on cookies if you are trying to manage your weight, or even sticking to your exercise plan.

As almost all of us have experienced in our lives, self-control failure is common, as the urge for instant gratification, laziness or lack of willpower makes it hard to practice it consistently.

114 SAVES

634 READS


VIEW

Willpower: Discovering the Strength Muscle Of the Mind

Self-control is a kind of mind muscle that if used continuously, tires out just like the physical counterpart.

Difficult days that rob our energy also sap us out of our willpower, make us psychologically weak and unable to resist the temptation to give up on our plan. We are more likely to skip the evening gym session if we were occupied the whole day, mentally and physically exhausted.

102 SAVES

507 READS


The Four Stages That Lead To Giving Up To Temptation

  1. Situation Stage: The overall situation where we are at the mercy of giving in to temptation.
  2. Attentional Stage: When our attention is towards the ‘sinful’ activity that is the main temptation, like gorging on cookies.
  3. Appraisal Stage: When we imagine how good the forbidden activity would feel.
  4. Response Stage: When we finally give in to the temptation.

121 SAVES

522 READS


A New Model Of Self-Control

Instead of trying to apply willpower when all the stages (situational, attentional, appraisal and response) have already taken place, one can strategize at the start of the stage and ensure that those do not happen at all.

For instance, the situational stage where we are faced with the temptation right in front of us could itself be avoided if we actively pursue not being in that situation. Example: Not buying the box of cookies, not placing it at home, and not going to the supermarket where one can easily find and buy it.

116 SAVES

479 READS


SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Self-Control

 ... is the ability to regulate and alter responses in order to avoid undesirable behaviors, increase desirable ones, and achieve long-term goals.

Research on Self-Control

  • A 2011 survey found that 27 % of respondents identified a lack of willpower as the primary factor keeping them from reaching their goals. 
  • One study found that students who exhibited greater self-discipline had better grades, higher test scores, and were more likely to be admitted to a competitive academic program. 
  • The study also found that when it came to academic success, self-control was a more important factor than IQ scores.
  • A health study found that people who were rated as having high levels of self-control during childhood continued to have high levels of physical and mental health in adulthood.
  • Research has found that self-control is a limited resource. In the long-term, exercising self-control tends to strengthen it. 

Motivation and Monitoring

A lack of willpower is not the only factor that affects goal attainment.

  • There needs to be a clear goal and the motivation to change. Having an unclear or overly general goal and insufficient motivation can lead to failure.
  • You need to monitor your actions daily towards the achievement of the goal.
  • You need to have willpower.

one more idea

What willpower is

What willpower is

Willpower is the ability to resist or delay short-term desires to achieve long-term goals. Other names for willpower are self-discipline, self-control, self-regulation, determinati...

Benefits of willpower

  • Self-control appears to be a better predictor of academic achievement, a determining factor of effective leadership, and essential for marital satisfaction.
  • People who harness their willpower more effectively are happier, healthier, have better relationships, are further ahead in their careers, are more able to manage stress and deal with conflict.

The neuroanatomy of willpower

  • The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the part of our brains situated right behind our forehead. It is responsible for abstract thinking, analyzing thoughts, and regulating behavior.
  • The PFC controls what we think about, what we pay attention to, how we feel. Studies point out that this part of the brain is only fully developed around age 25.
  • The "I will power" is controlled by the region near the upper left side of the brain and helps you start and continue with not so fun tasks.
  • The right side handles the "I won't power," preventing you from acting out on every impulse.
  • The "I want power" sits in the middle of the PFC and keeps track of your goals and desires.

Brute willpower doesn't work

So we should stop worshiping self-control and start thinking about diluting the power of temptation. Because resisting temptation either only has short-term gains or can be an outright failu...

Willpower is not the lucky ticket to success

Studies have shown that people that are really good at achieving their goals are not the ones that put more effort into exerting self-control in the face of temptations, but the ones that experience fewer temptations to start with.

People who are good at self-control

  • They actually enjoy the activities some of us resist (eating healthy, studying, exercising)
  • They have better decision-making habits
  • Some people just experience fewer temptations
  • It’s easier to have self-control when you’re wealthy - when you’re poor, the future is less certain.