Take two group of college students.
Don’t actually take them – that’s kidnapping.
Just imagine you have them infront of you!
They haven’t eaten for at least 3 hours.
Send them into a room where there is a bowl of radishes and bowl of chocolates.
There’s also some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafting their delicious smell into the air.
You tell the participants that the chocolate and radishes have been chosen because of their highly distinct flavours and that you’re going to contact them tomorrow to ask about their memory of the tastes – you old sneak, you!
Half the students are allowed to eat the cookies and chocolate but no radishes, the rest the other way round.
You leave the room and watch them through a two way mirror.
The radish eaters, understandably, are looking forlornly at their chocolate guzzling counterparts, but none of them give in.
You come back in and explain that the taste part of the experiment is over and another group of reasearchers want to do a test to see who’s better at solving problems – high school or college students.
They give them a series of impossible to solve puzzles and see how long each group sticks with trying to figure them out.
The chocolate group spend an average of 19 minutes and 34 attempts on the puzzles.
The radish guys gave up after about half the time – 8 minutes and 19 attempts.
Why was this?
They’d used up much of their “willpower” in the previous experiment.
That was what was actually being assessed after all.
Because, despite popular opinion, willpower is a finite resource.
Sure, you can strategically improve it over time (and we’ll cover that tomorrow).
But there’s only ever so much.
And unnecessarily depleting it means there’s less available next time it’s needed.
And it’s not just from similar situations.
All the challenges of our busy and challenging lives run it down.
Every time you resist the temptation to scream at your co-worker, boss or kids, that uses up some.
So, part of the answer is to minimise how much we have to use.
Simplifying our lives where possible.
Not always easy, sure.
But doable in some areas I’d imagine.
And not creating situations where you’re kinda challenging yourself all the time.
Over the years I’ve had literally thousands of conversations where people have said about there being cake / biscuits / alcohol around at home or work……….
And they’ve resisted for so long before “giving in”.
When those things aren’t there, there’s no issue.
Not saying you can never have these things.
But I’m sure you know that having them somewhere nearby, readily viewable, means they will get consumed at some point?
You get the idea.
Don’t feel bad about your “lack of willpower”.
Willpower based approaches are doomed to failure (find-out-more meeting is next week. If you haven’t already and like the idea of transforming your life and body whilst having fun with like minded people in an intimidation free atmosphere AND not having to rely on willpower all the time, then check myrise.co.uk/briefing-meeting).
All the research backs this up – you’re not the only one!
Don’t create an environment where your willpower is constantly tempted.
Make it so that this whole journey is as easy as possible, not harder than it needs to be 🙂
Jon ‘My kids recently spent a bit of my Nanna’s inheritance on some ‘Build-A-Bears’. I asked them to think of a name that reminded them of Nanna. Izzie chose Biscuit. Oli choose Cookie. Jamie picked Tigie. Funny characters’ Hall and Matt ‘I’d have solved those puzzled ;)’ Nicholson
RISE Macclesfield – myrise.co.uk
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