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Why Self-Discipline is so Hard

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Why Self-Discipline is so Hard
Signup for your FREE trial to The Great Courses Plus here: http://ow.ly/ffLP30l0I5A Support Freedom in Thought: http://patreon.com/freedominthought In this video, we get to the bottom of why self-discipline (self-control) is so hard.

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Key Ideas

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The virtue of self-control

We have hold self-control as a high virtue since the earliest times, and that's why it is a staple in most religions and the moral of many myths.

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Defining self-discipline

We usually use this term when we describe a person that makes positive long-term decisions, by overcoming short-term temptations.

We associate this process...

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Making decisions

In every moment of our lives, we are making decisions on how to act. Problems arise when we have to choose between what's immediately grati...

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Behind decision-making

There are different factors behind every decision we make: genes, hormones, social environment, physical environment, past experiences, the context of the situatio...

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The role of dopamine

The neurotransmitter called dopamine is more about the anticipation of a reward than it is about the reward itself.

Some specific c...

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Dopamine and rewards

When we're deciding between immediate and delayed rewards, our brain chooses how much dopamine to send to each part of the brain (the limbic targets for immediate ...

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Self-discipline and habits

Habits are the ones that mediate the relationship between our desires and our environment.

To change a habit, both we and the environment have to change, a...

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The role of education

An individual can be changed through education.

We have so little control over the biology that determines our desires. But the part of our biology that is more malleable is our brain.

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The product of our environment

Self-discipline is both an environmental and an individual problem: we can change our behaviors and beliefs through education, but the reso...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

First Principles

A first principle is the fundamental building block of an idea, the most indivisible part that we know to be true and that we can use to build more complex thought...

Not A New Idea

Thinking from first principles is not a new idea. It's actually the single most consistent factor among great thinkers.

For example, Aristotle believed that you could not possess true knowledge without first understanding the first principles. He thought that everything could be divided into categories and sub-categories (the smallest of them being the equivalent for first principles). 

Reason And Experience

An empiricist is a person that believed all true knowledge is based and obtained through experience.

The process of seeking knowledge through experience and making use of reason to give it structure it how we can find the first principles of a subject.

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Win Arguments

... without making enemies:
  • Make sure you communicate you are not there to fight (using your tone of voice, for example).
  • Avoid making stateme...

Raising Your Voice

When the conversation gets heated, we tend to raise our voices and talk faster. This is a dangerous path because now the ability of both sides to change their minds is close to zero. We dig even deeper into our initial positions and beliefs and no matter how good an argument is, it is not going to be received by the other side.

You can sense this happening when people rush to talk over one another.

Releasing Tension

  • Slowing things down: take a deep breath before speaking, to create a pause, to reduce the tension and to open up the other person to your position.
  • Inflections: upward inflections are good for de-escalating conflict because they show you are not there to control and command.
  • The ability to crack a joke and the ability to take a joke and laugh make you more persuasive, give the impression of being on the same side and release the tension.

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Why you should plan to plan ahead for retirement.

Why you should plan to plan ahead for retirement.
  • Getting stuck in the savings mindset. Saving should be formed as a habit. The amount saved can be increased over time.
  • Medical emergencies. With increasing age comes...