Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Willpower

Notes and tidbits posted on FB and Twitter. Part 111

Note 1: I take notes of books I read and comment on events and edit sentences that fit my style. The page is long and growing like crazy, and the sections I post contains months-old events that are worth refreshing your memory.

USA has the military force, but lack the power to change the conditions in the Middle-East. Its impotent allies lack the will to get engaged in a protracted war. Iran has the backing of the UN and European Union on the nuclear deal.

Penal code shouldn’t be same for people in their 25 as in 50. Maturity requires stiffer punishment.

If Weinstein resumed his malefic behavior in his 50’s, it is the entire movie institution that should be put on trial. Every producer, director (of both gender) who knew and kept quiet.

Depuis l’avenement de la Republique d’ Allemagne apres WWI on a introduit le respect pour tous et le serieux dans le respect. Le reste est inchange’

USA ambassador mission has changed after Iraq invasion in 2003: relaying official disinformation, which he is meant to believe in. “A German can’t tell a lie if he can’t believe it”

La guerre et la gangene font revenir Dieu, et Il se maintient pour la dure’ de l’anxiete’ et l’insecurite’

Al Raqqa has fallen? To whom? Foreign ISIS fighters taken and relocated to Deir Zour, which was supposed to have fallen a month ago?

Laisserez-vous cela impuni? Je visais moins la Providence que ceux qui l’ont aidee.

Une colere de femme a levres pincees est voulue, parceque’elle le doit. Raouf va bientot regretter le temps de vraie colere de jalousie.

On ne sait pas grand chose pour etaler le cannibalism en Chine et en Inde pendant leurs longues histoires.

Le plus grand cannibal est toujours l’Europe, mais l’Amerique l’a surpasse’ depuis un siecle

La saloppe. Se reciter des poemes est bien pire que baiser

An immigrant from a civil war expect to be cared for, long enough before going free: reanimate the bird and let it rest.

How your Central Bank works? Does it have the right to invest on financial transactions? Does it pay taxes on its profits? Any control and accounting from government and parliament?

Moush jalsset mouwazanat: tabkheer lel youbeel foddy. Faassideen sighar youhani2oun al kabeer

Domaine d’apanage: concede’ a un prince/princesse qui retourne a la couronne si le couple n’a pas eu de fils heritie’ vivant

Eventually, USA military bases in north Syria will be vacated. Why this delay? To confirm and demonstrate their impotence in this region? They will indefinitely claim that ISIS is Not yet defeated

So USA wants to delay the fall of Deir Zour in Syria. By facilitating the transfer of foreign ISIS to that area? For what? To enable the resistance front of Iran and Hezbollah to gain more presence and strength?

Maintaining their daydreams: USA and Europe still wish Lebanese army to confront Hezbollah or denying it direct links and access with Syria. Our army is already a branch of Hezbollah against Israel and the majority of the soldiers are Shi3a.

N’aurais-tu pas une affaire galante? On considerait au Moyen Age que le lait d’une femme amoureuse comme un poison.

On devient “guerrier” suite a une difformite’ sexuelle. Ou a un trop plein. Et on doit subir leurs violences.

Consider your willpower to be a battery: If before reacting your willpower is depleted then you have to rely on your acquired habits, talents and skills to counter your innate behaviors that were constituted through social in-group behaviors.

Fashion industries incinerated 6,000 tons of clothing. All these millions of refugees are Not entitled to fashion?

Simple. I removed everything that is Not David

This is the response of Michelangelo to the Pope asking him how he managed to sculpt his famous David.

Do you know with certainty what destroys success or happiness?

Are you more attuned to “What Not to do“, a more potent approach than “What to do”?

Kind of eliminating all possible errors and discover that Thinking better follows?

Do you focus on removing all the blocks and hurdles to your success?

Nowadays, brilliant people consider the notion of “What Not to do” as counter-intuitive and down right counter to human spirit, and go ahead and destroy and massively exhaust earth and nature.

Complete control of our emotions through thinking clear is illusory: Our willpower will be frequently dangerously depleted if we try to continuously sustain our control for long period.

Overthinking will eventually trip you out of balance. For example, why test 45 varieties of strawberry jelly, by expert tasters, if it is demonstrated that expert and common people preferred the same type of strawberry Jelly?

If people are given a questionnaire to rank the variety of Jelly, the ones they actually liked are ranked in the bottom of the list.

If you are pressured to think too much, you end up cutting off your mind from the wisdom of your feelings.

Emotions and rational thinking are merely a different form of information processing: The primordial process does Not necessarily generate inferior variant of the complex rational process.

Rely on your circle of competence, otherwise, rely on your mental shortcuts in emergency situations.

Remember that sober reflection is Not innate to mankind evolution.

Consequently, you are better off relying on your intuition for decisions outside your circle of competence.

Read: Art of Thinking Clear

Professional Procrastinator may write a sentence per day

Suppose you are a procrastinator and barely publish a 100-page book every 7 years.

It is Not the long delay of getting a task done that defines a procrastinator: It is the postponing of an important, urgent and critical job that should be grabbed by the horns.

For example, postponing writing your New Year’s lists of resolutions has Nothing to do with procrastination: Common sense has demonstrated that a resolution to be carried out successfully requires time, energy and consistency on a daily basis. And common sense tells you that you will lack all the necessary requirement, not just for one resolution, but for the dozen of them.

Why professional writers procrastinate?

1. Research is much more enjoyable than writing. The procrastinator enjoys surfing the Web for hours on, supposedly to get lucky and stumbling on a forgotten story. (I don’t like researching and wait until the sources are staked in front of me, if I could afford an assistant)

2. The procrastinator’s lame excuse is Ï wait till I’m in the “right mood, as if an artist becomes famous by Not working his trade every day, consistently and stubbornly, and does not wait for his mood swing to stabilize.

3. The main factor is the time lapse between sowing and reaping. If no external authority sets deadlines, the longer the time lapse the harder is to start on the task.

4. Abusing and draining your willpower. For example, the group of subjects who were prevented to touch the cookies for 30 minutes gave up on a math problem twice as fast as those who could eat as many cookies as they wanted. The period of self-control drains mental energy and willpower.

Luckily, self-control is not a requirement at every moment in our life, otherwise, we will be living as zombies.

A good trick to weaken procrastination attitude is to eliminate distractions such as turning off internet and TV.., particularly, give a rest for gorging on cookies and soda cans…

Best trick of all is to set deadlines, strict deadlines in phases, for example in writing your dissertation thesis.

Mind you that finishing writing a thesis is Not that important: after 3 years of fine-tuning and re-editing your Masterpiece, you realize that most of the contents are obsolete and need re-researching. This is the case for Non natural scientific fields of study.

In any case, if your belief is that strong for having a closure, then set your damned deadlines, disconnect from distractions, and get on with your dissertation.

At most, half a dozen will peruse your lengthy dissertation, maybe those on your jury board.



This Ultimatum game and Last Chance offer fallacy

Either the negotiation succeed or you lose everything?

This ultimatum game is the manifestation of the “Theory of Mind“, a set of how others feel and think concepts.

When the other party is an “abstraction”, we cannot see or hear, the share they are offered drops on average from over 30% to below 20% because the feeling of unfairness gets out of the picture.

When the two parties meet face to face the sense of fairness plays a big role in reaching satisfactory end games.

When the parties decide to have a mediator (in order not to meet face to face) the negotiation drags on simply because one party had decided not to reach an agreement.

Statistics don’t stir us, but people do.

The preemptive wars of 2014 by Israel on Gaza has upset people around the world because pictures and videos were disseminated and were covered by social platforms and web sites: The story was given a face.

The Last Chance behavior is linked to our fear of regret: We need to quickly fall in line in order to conform with the community.

We feel more sympathy for the passenger, who by a fluke of an accident or circumstances, decided to board at the last minute the plane that crashed than with the remaining passengers.

People who failed to take action feel more regret than those who acted and were wrong in their decision.

Remember that willpower is like an electric battery: If depleted, your future challenges will falter if you don’t replenish your battery by good sleep and good relaxation techniques.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear

What’s your Worldview and how it was formed?

Worldview is not a matter of logic, rational thinking, reflection… and it is not merely a bunch of emotions, feelings, guts, heuristics, mental short cuts…

Worldview is all the above, a complex, convoluted make up of irrational positions, opinions, ready-made reactions…

Worldview is mostly the results and outcomes of emotional reactions.

Consider your willpower to be a battery: If before reacting your willpower is depleted then you have to rely on your acquired habits, talents and skills to counter your innate behaviors that were constituted through social in-group behaviors.

Your worldview is a unique model that you tailored-made throughout your life, experiences, conditions, situations… in order to survive the thousands of daily problems, frustrations and barriers.

Your worldview is constituted of all the planning you undertook, the do-it lists, the step-by-step thinking on your projects, the failed attempts and alliances.

And if you are lucky, you might realize that the “planning fallacy”  never follows the learning curve that you swear for from experience in other activities.

We are not natural-born planners. Why?

1. Wishful thinking cannot be overcome: it is part of our survival technique and strategy too.

2. We tend to overlook external influences and all those rare events that bust our well-thought out detailed plans

3. We fail to revisit the past projects and plans, those that were a success story and those that failed to materialize.

4. We miss to read the outliers in the events that intervened in the failure process and those that came handy unexpectedly.

Have you tried a pre-mortem session speech to your team?
A year from now, we are supposed to finish this project. Imagine this project turned out to be a disaster. Take 15 minutes to write about your imagined disaster”

Willpower: A science?

It’s the second week in January and, at about this time, that resolution that seemed so reasonable a week ago — go to the gym every other day, read a book a week, only drink alcohol on weekends — is starting to seem very … hard.

Kate Torgovnick May posted this Jan. 8, 2014

The science of willpower: Kelly McGonigal on why it’s so dang hard to stick to a resolution

As you are teetering on the edge of abandoning it all together, Kelly McGonigal, a Stanford University psychologist, is here to help.  She shared last year how you can make stress your friend and wants you to know that you’re not having a hard time sticking to a resolution because you are a terrible person.
Perhaps you’ve just formulated the wrong resolution.


McGonigal has, for years, taught a course called “The Science of Willpower” through Stanford’s Continuing Studies program and, in 2011, she spun it into a book, The Willpower Instinct.

The TED Blog spoke to McGonigal this week about how willpower is often misunderstood, and what we each can do to improve it. (We also asked her about today’s talk — Why dieting doesn’t usually work.)

Below, an edited transcript of the conversation.

First question: why is willpower such a struggle?

It’s a great question. I define willpower as the ability to do what matters most, even when it’s difficult or when some part of you doesn’t want to. That begins to capture why it’s so difficult — because everything we think of as requiring willpower is usually a competition between two conflicting selves.

There’s a part of you who is looking to the long-term and thinking about certain goals, and then another part of you that has a completely different agenda and wants to maximize current pleasure and minimize current stress, pain and discomfort. (Can’t catch the difference here)

The things that require willpower pit those competing selves against each other. Willpower is the ability to align yourself with the brain system that is thinking about long-term goals — that is thinking about big values rather than short-term needs or desires. (This statement sound logical but not that rational to me)

The reason that so many things can trigger that kind of conflict is because that’s the essence of human nature.

Modern cognitive neuroscientists see this as the fundamental structure of the human brain — that there are competing systems that think about the world differently and that respond to challenges differently.

I think of it as: the immediate self versus the future self. We need both systems for survival.  But a lot of our modern challenges really tempt us to be in the mind-state of immediate gratification, or escaping immediate discomfort. It can be quite a challenge to access the part of you who is willing to take that big picture and tolerate temporary discomfort.

So, given this idea of two competing selves who want different things, how effective are New Year’s resolutions for tapping into the ability to think long-term?

I think it depends on how you go about making your New Year’s resolution.

Typically, when people are making a New Year’s resolution, they don’t start with the right questions, so they end up making a resolution that is ineffective. Most people start with the question: “What should I do?

It may not even be a conscious, implicit kind of thing, but they start from: “What do I criticize about myself that it’s time to change?” Or “what is it that I don’t really want to do that I know I should do?

It’s kind of a typical self-improvement perspective. “I don’t really like exercise, I guess I should do it.” Or “my closet is a mess, it’s time to get organized.” “I’ve never had a clean desk in my life, but I think that good people have clean desks, so this is the year I’m going to have one.”

People come up with resolutions that don’t reflect what matters most to them, and that makes them almost guaranteed to fail. Even if that behavior could be very valuable and helpful — like exercise — if you start from the point of view of thinking about what it is you don’t really want to do, it’s very hard to tap into willpower.

If there’s no really important “want” driving it, the brain system of self-control has nothing to hold on to.

The kind of New Year’s resolution that works is when you start really slowing down and asking yourself what you want for yourself and your life in the next year.

What is it that you want to offer the world? Who do you want to be, what do you want more of in your life? And then asking: “How might I get there? What would create that as a consequence?”

When you start from that point of view, then New Year’s resolutions can be incredibly effective. They begin to turn your attention to choice points in your everyday life where there really are opportunities to align your energy and attention in the direction that matters to you.

I think most people start from the choice points, without wondering whether this is even the right thing to be choosing. People get to the behaviors too soon, in my opinion.

Any tips for how to find those big things and then narrow them down to specific resolutions?

A very practical way is to ask: At the end of 2014 — on January 1st, 2015, looking backwards — what are you seriously going to be grateful that you did?

Is there a change you know that you’re going to be glad you made?

What would that feel like? That can tap into something that feels really authentic.

I was just doing a radio interview at one of the NPR stations in New York, and I was chatting with the studio producer. I asked her if she had any New Year’s resolutions, and she’s like, “Oh yeah — to stay fit.” She sounded so not enthusiastic. Then after a few seconds of silence, she said, “I’m kind of thinking about finding a way to play the piano again.

She was lighting up a little more. “It used to be so important to me, and I really miss it. It’s like my soul wants to play the piano again, and it would be giving it back to my soul.” And I’m like, “That’s your resolution! What is this getting fit stuff?”

By the way, you can spend the first week [of the year] looking around. One year my resolution was to focus on being a better mentor, and to look for ways in every professional relationship to do that.

You start looking around, and you see every conversation as an opportunity to choose that value and move toward that goal.

Just spend a week saying, “If what matters is improving my health, if what matters is spending more time with my family, if what matters is reconnecting to creativity, what choices do I make every day that either could get me closer to that?”

So on those things you feel like you should be doing — the going to the gym or the quitting smoking — is there a way to build your willpower towards those things?

One of the things I always encourage people to do is to not try to do things alone, and to start outsourcing their willpower a little bit.

If it’s exercising, you should be doing it with a family member, a friend, a co-worker. Or sign up for a series of classes after work. Because then, it’s like a bigger pool of possible willpower.

If you’re exhausted after work, and you normally would say, “Screw it, I’m going home,” if there’s somebody who is going to meet you in your office, and say, “Hey, aren’t we going for a walk now?,” it doesn’t matter if you feel like it in that moment.

There’s going to be a bigger pool of motivation that will support you through when you’re feeling most exhausted or least motivated.

Another thing I encourage people to do is — if there’s a behavior that they put off or don’t do because of anxiety or self-doubt or because it’s boring or uncomfortable — bribe yourself.

If you hate exercise but truly, truly want the consequences of exercising, you should give yourself permission to do whatever you don’t want to let yourself do — like read trashy gossip magazines, or download a whole series of a TV show that you can plop on in front of you on the treadmill.

As long as it doesn’t conflict with your goal, then you should go ahead and pair the thing you don’t want to do with a reward that you might otherwise not give yourself permission for. That can be very effective for beginning to prioritize and make time for things.

Also, give yourself permission to do small steps rather than think that there’s an ideal you need to meet. I wrote a review paper about two years ago showing that you can get pretty much the same health benefits from doing 5 to 15 minutes of exercise a day as from an hour.

There are a lot of things like that, where we think, “I won’t get my novel done unless I can put aside a whole weekend to write.” Well, you could create a novel in a paragraph a day. So I encourage people to think: what’s the smallest step that they could take that is consistent with their goal? And not necessarily worry about whether they believe it’s sufficient.

That is actually very freeing.

New Year’s resolutions can be fun! If you think of them like a science experiment, you can always learn something from a resolution.

A lot of times, people aren’t willing to learn the lesson — and sometimes the lesson is that you think you want to change this, but you don’t really want to, and sometimes you don’t need to. That sometimes we look for the things we think we can control.

It’s funny how this happens sometimes even when we go after the things that really are core to our identity. I did this New Year’s resolution makeover once with this woman who had made the same resolution year after year to become a better cook, because she thought that’s what good moms and good wives did. She was a terrible cook, and she didn’t want to learn how to cook.

That’s a mistake people make: They think they’re just going to fundamentally change who they are with a resolution.

“I’m going to become a morning person.” “I’m going to become a health nut.” “I’m going to become organized.”

The best resolutions are ones that strengthen something you already are, but you may not have been fully investing in.





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