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, determination, drive. Willpower consists of three things:
When the PFC gets damaged, it can alter your personality and interfere with your willpower. One recorded case of damage to the PFC was in 1848, when an iron went straight into the skull of Phineas Gage, blowing away his PFC. He survived, but had a complete personality change, became irreverent, indulging at times, impatient of restraint or advice.
States that inhibit our PFC are being drunk, sleep-deprived, or just distracted. It can lead us to focus on our impulses, rather than our long-term goals.
A willpower challenge is a conflict between these two systems, where one eventually will triumph.
Once we understand the root cause of our behaviors, it is easier to work towards our goals. One way is to improve our self-awareness. How many food choices do you make a day? While most people would guess around 14, studies reveal the average number is 227.
Self-awareness is the ability to recognise what we are doing as we're doing it. One way to increase your self-awareness is to keep track of all your choices on a given day, then analyse which ones supported your long-term goals and which ones didn't.
Meditation can train your brain for better self-control. Meditation increases your attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, and self-awareness.
When we practice a certain behavior, we strengthen the neural connections for that behavior, making it more accessible and likely to occur. Practice worrying, and you get better at worrying. Practice concentration, and you'll get better at concentration.
One study found that participants who focused on consistent exercise for two months ate less junk food and more healthy foods; they watched less television; they studied more; they saved more money; they procrastinated less.
Instead of considering how much exercise you need for results, focus on how much you're likely to do. Start with realistic goals.
Our brain's normal functions, such as thinking, learning, and memory, relies on glucose. Exerting our willpower uses a considerable amount of this fuel, leaving our brains in a state of alert trying to attain normal blood sugar levels. The drop in blood sugar will generally leave us more and prone to reach for sugary foods. But high fructose corn syrup can increase levels of stress hormones in the brain.
To prevent this, eating whole foods regularly and avoiding refined sugars will keep your glucose levels stable and equip you with increased willpower.
When you're stressed, the sympathetic nervous system takes over - also referred to as the "fight or flight system." It enables your body to respond quickly to perceived threats or stress. When this happens, your heart rate goes up and stays high, leading to feelings of anxiety and anger.
People with high levels of stress are more prone to poor self-control and focus. Stress will also shift your brain to a reward-seeking state: Whatever will make you happy at the moment will become a fixation. That is why people who are stressed are more likely to smoke, gamble, play video games, surf the internet or watch TV. The most effective stress-relief strategies include exercising, reading, listening to music, and spending time with loved ones.
Two other major hindrances to self-control are:
Change can be a difficult thing. Most people want to change their lives, in some way, but find it difficult to either get started or to sustain the change for very long.
It can be incredibly difficult, or it can be wonderfully joyous.
And if you already know it will happen, then there’s no pressure to avoid it.
Fail, fail often, and learn. Then you’ll be better equipped for the next attempt.
Absurdist art exhibits an inverted perspective of reality where juxtaposing elements should not exist in the same realm.
However, this genre is not for everyone. Every single one of us have our own opinions regarding absurdist art. It's like how some people appreciate classical and orchestral but some don't find the appeal in it.
Absurdism allows the mind to consume unexplainable things. The kinds of things that we seek to experience can be found in a "sweet spot" between possessing recognizable patterns and inconsistency.
This desire is rooted from the evolutionary need where we need to find knowledge and learn things about the world.
That reticence to ever ask someone out on a date probably plays out in your failure to move to a new city, to take that new job or the timidity around your co-workers.
People don’t like it when someone changes or does something that makes them feel awkward or insecure. They will think he’s crazy, selfish, arrogant. If you want to do something incredible, you have to become comfortable with being different from the rest.
As cliche as that sounds. Most of us give up on something we’re passionate about too soon. But anyone who’s been successful has a tale of struggle and perseverance to share.
It means knowing what you don’t know.
Many people accomplish a little bit and decide that they are experts. But successful people often downplay their successes (or usually never even mention them) - they regularly point out their weaknesses and how they need to learn more.
Success means building strong relationships. Creating a wealth of social and romantic relationships hinges on the ability to meet people and connect with them in a meaningful manner. And living without regular social contact is as unhealthy as smoking cigarettes.
The feedback loop goes like this: try something -> get feedback and results -> learn from feedback and results -> try something new.
People who are dead set on arguing why what they already believed is right (despite not working) are effectively breaking the chain off and not accepting feedback. Therefore they will never change.