Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Willpower Instinct

I recently finished the book Willpower Instinct.

I decided to break it down to 27 tips because you probably lack the willpower to read it yourself.


1) Willpower is limited


Your willpower is like a life bar in a videogame or battery on your phone. It's only going to last so long. That's why you make worse decision as the day goes by.


2) Heart rate variability


Studies show that those that have a higher heart rate variability turn down temptations better. So slow your breathing to 5-6 breaths per minute for around 10 minutes and you'll make a better decision.

3) Working out adds willpower


When you start fixing one problem the momentum helps in other areas. Plus healthier people feel better and make better decisions too. That's why I'm so great.

4) Morning meditation Mess Up


Suck at meditation? Great. The fact you notice yourself messing up and trying to constantly get back on track will stick with you throughout the day as you catch yourself constantly getting distracted.

5) Seeing yourself do it


If you can see yourself doing something it makes it much easier to actually do that. See yourself or plan doing the task first, then you'll much more likely do it.

6) WANT makes WILL


If you don't have a strong enough WANT you'll never have the WILLpower. Losing weight to feel better is not as strong a want as making your ex jealous.

7) Good person rationalization


Many people feel so good after doing one good thing that they feel they can justify their next fuck up. You donated money so you can talk down to your waiter. That's why you see so many people in fast food restaurants in their gym clothes. They think they earned it.

8) Your identity


Think about how many things you do because you feel that's what you're supposed to do. Esquire and GQ market around the identity that makes men think they're James Bond. 'Don't Mess with Texas' stopped littering around the identity of gritty tough state pride. Think on how to make an identity around the things that will actually benefit you.

9) Opportunity Only


Studies show many people will do things only for the opportunity but not actually do it. You'll go to a restaurant because of the healthy options but not actually order them. Such as McDonald's Big Mac going up in sales after they added low calorie foods to the menu.

Just like I like living in a city like Austin with so many things to do, but I just stay home. I like the idea of being able to things.

10) Tomorrow I will be able to do it


People think of tomorrow as in it will be a much better day to do it. They'll be a stronger person, the day will be full of open time. That day will never come.

11) Dopamine vs Seratonin


People like quick dopamine boosts. Checking email and Facebook, watching quick video after video on YouTube, it's like high calorie, low nutrition food.

When you do the things that actually make you feel good and give you serotonin such as completing a big project you wonder why you don't do this more often.

It's because the body discounts the rewards that you have to wait for.

They did an experiment with Chimps and humans. The Chimps outdid the humans on waiting for bigger rewards by a severe margin.

So even if you think you're above average at waiting for rewards, you're only good for a human.

12) Are you as Excited as an Electrocuted Rat?


Rats were stimulated in the part of the brain that gives you excitement if they ran on the electric bars in their space. They ran on those bars until they couldn't physically do it anymore. As cruel as this experiment was, it shows that excitement is more rewarding than the actual reward.

People are much more excited about a lottery win than savings through a stock index fund. It's much more exciting to think of what could happen than what will happen.

Hard to get that excited about a slow fat loss process. Much more exciting is Papa John's on it's way to your door.

13) Hooks


That thing that has you constantly looking for a new notification. that next text, that Instagram like. These are the hooks that people who make apps and video games base their entire model.

It can work for your good as well. Apps that teach coding, foreign languages, and calorie counting are trying implement this.

14) Stress Terror Management


People naturally indulge to relieve stress. That's why companies love advertising during the news. All that scare mongering makes people want to buy.

People buy nice cars or vacations to deal with bad relationships. People buy expensive TV's and video game consoles to deal with being in debt. People eat to get over being fat.


15) Ask yourself while you're fucking up 


While you're fucking up ask yourself during what lead to this and you can find your trigger behavior. Because you didn't get sleep? Because you were starving? Because you're overworked? Be cause of the people you hanging around? Because you were around the birthday cake?

16) Wait 10 minutes


Much like controlling your breathing for heart rate variability, waiting 10 minutes usually sets your mind in a better decision making mode.

17) Fuck up upon sight


People can much more easily make better decisions when the temptation in not in your direct sight.

So stay away!

18) Burn your ships


Like the famous story of Cortes burning his ships so they couldn't retreat, make it so that you can back out of your goal.

Announce a big proclamation on Facebook or wager a bet that you'll donate to the KKK if you don't follow through. Unless you support the KKK, then you should donate to Black Lives Matter.

19) You vs Future You


People think of the future them as a stranger. You put off things for the future and give all the work to them like an asshole. Think of them as you and you'll be much more nicer to yourself.

Send out an email to yourself that won't come until a much later date and see how different you are actually.

Do I want this ice cream sandwich now vs do I want to deal with the repercussions later?

20) Too far sighted is a problem


Some people don't indulge enough and save money forever or stay away from bad food all the time and never actually enjoy life at all (me?). They actually need to make indulging a goal to do every now and then.

21) Out of shape infection


There's an infection that can affect people without knowing it and is scientifically proven. People that are out of shape make everyone around them become out of shape. And vice versa. So think of who you surround yourself with and they will begin to shape you. The closer they are to you the worse.

22) Social Norms


As a follow up to the last point, most people cheat on their taxes so you shouldn't feel bad. Well, that's not really the case but it's a belief and the fact it's a popular held belief gives many people the okay to do so. Same thing when all your friends are fat or lazy or negative.

23) Shame Vs Pride


Self shaming only makes your willpower weaker and more susceptible to giving in. Which is why shaming doesn't work.

Researchers have found that pride works the other way and more people are willing to stay strong out of the want for pride.

So go ahead and be prideful. Never mind those Seven Deadly Sins.

24) No White Bear


Tolstoy's older brother asked him to stay in a corner until he couldn't stop thinking about white bears. He came back much later to see him still in that corner. When you tell your mind to stop thinking about something, it doesn't receive the NOT part. Only the subject. DON'T eat chocolate. Becomes EAT CHOCOLATE.

Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want.

25) Accept the Thoughts


You will feel anxious, frustrated, mad, sad, tired, and will probably try to suppress the emotions. I don't know what you've heard about suppression, but the general idea is that it's NOT GOOD. Accept those feelings. You're only human. Accepting those thoughts doesn't mean you have to act on them. But accepting them and thinking about them  makes it much easier.


26) Surf the Urge


When you find yourself wanting to give in, and especially while you give in. Ask yourself what brought you to this point, what is it like.

What does it feel like? Are you tense? Where? How do you feel emotionally?

This will help you in the future or help you get out of a bad state.

Because the best way to not fuck up, is to fuck up, and then ask yourself why.

27) EGO


People who think they have the most willpower are likely to have the least.


Derek Sivers has even more notes from the book on his blog. https://sivers.org/book/WillpowerInstinct

You can also purchase the book here.
https://www.amazon.com/Willpower-Instinct-Self-Control-Works-Matters/dp/1583335080


Let me know if any of this changed things for you.




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