What is Effort? | Scott H Young
Effort represents an investment of a fixed resource, like calories.
For this reason, running takes more effort than sitting. It takes more calories and strains muscles and joints. If you run non-stop, you will need to eat more to stay alive, and you will wear your muscles out.
However, effort as energy expenditure does not fully answer why we struggle to take action, as effortful tasks, such as playing tennis, is more fun than doing nothing.
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Paying attention seems to be linked to effort, since deliberate control of attention take effort.
Focus is only hard if we're trying to focus. If our attention is held automatically, focus is not an effort.
Effort could be seen as the opposite of something we do automatically. Effort then is what happens when we try to override an automatic pattern.
You can look at effort in the context when you need to make a choice that involves internal conflict. Part of you wants to eat more, while the other part thinks you shouldn't.
Internal conflict requires you to move "uphill" or resist the easy flow.
Taking action is hard because it requires effort. Some things feel easy, while others feel difficult. This is a reason we don't always act on our plans.
But, maybe the problem is that we have combined distinct issues under the same label of "effort": physical fatigue, attention control, automaticity, self-control. If we could separate them, we might be able to ease the effort required to take action.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
Any goal or project will usually have these basic qualities:
When a goal has high uncertainty as to what level is achievable to reach within a particular time-frame, it is better to set specific targets in the middle of the process.
Plan your goals with the variables you do have: overall direction, time-frame, level of effort and strategies.
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It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.
For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...
People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.
They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.
Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.
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Inaction is the biggest cause of our failures and our miseries. If we could consistently do the things we know we should do, we would be more successful, and our lives would be better. Yet w...
Some possible but weak reasons why action is hard:
If your projects tend to fail, your expectations are low, and motivation fades. If your projects tend to succeed, your expectations go up, and motivation stays strong.
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