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  #41  
Unread 05-17-2016, 04:43 PM
Schlansky Schlansky is offline
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Originally Posted by Ryker View Post
How do you know it was limitless? Maybe the amount of willpower you needed was within the limits that you had, especially given that you say you were expending it mostly on this single goal.
Sure I cannot say for certain that it was limitless. But I am pretty sure. Around that time I quit smoking after 13 years, started my first job ever, worked in field I had no expertise in and ate ~1000kcal a day. Loosing weight was so important to me, that it just worked. If I would use the model that states willpower is a finite source (Roy Baumeisters model of ego depletion) to explain how I did that - it wouldnīt work. There is no way that I could have done what I did. That would be like a person deciding to go from a couch potato to an ultramarathon runner without training.
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  #42  
Unread 05-17-2016, 08:41 PM
Ryker Ryker is offline
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Originally Posted by Schlansky View Post
Sure I cannot say for certain that it was limitless. But I am pretty sure. Around that time I quit smoking after 13 years, started my first job ever, worked in field I had no expertise in and ate ~1000kcal a day. Loosing weight was so important to me, that it just worked. If I would use the model that states willpower is a finite source (Roy Baumeisters model of ego depletion) to explain how I did that - it wouldnīt work. There is no way that I could have done what I did. That would be like a person deciding to go from a couch potato to an ultramarathon runner without training.
Maybe the motivation that drove you to lose weight was different than willpower, though. I don't know what you'd call it, but you probably know yourself that sometimes you don't need willpower per se to do hard things, you just do them, because in that moment they seem easy. But on other days, you might be dealing with the same thing and you'll be really fighting with and convincing yourself why you need to do it. That's what I'd call willpower. And in relation to that I still believe in the first model. I hope you see what I mean.
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  #43  
Unread 05-18-2016, 05:31 AM
Schlansky Schlansky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryker View Post
Maybe the motivation that drove you to lose weight was different than willpower, though. I don't know what you'd call it, but you probably know yourself that sometimes you don't need willpower per se to do hard things, you just do them, because in that moment they seem easy. But on other days, you might be dealing with the same thing and you'll be really fighting with and convincing yourself why you need to do it. That's what I'd call willpower. And in relation to that I still believe in the first model. I hope you see what I mean.
That is an interesting point. I guess it comes down to the definition of willpower. I would argue that willpower is exactly what you describe - but both of these phenomena. If you do hard things you need willpower, no matter if they feel hard or easy. Even if you want to do something, it "costs" willpower to do difficult things. I guess sitting on the couch or sleeping doesnīt, but pretty much everything else needs some kind of willpower to eventually do it.

And on second thought I too donīt believe in limitless willpower, but I believe it can increase extremely if one has certain cognitive patterns. If you want something or "would like a certain outcome" it will be way harder to achieve these goals than if you must/need/have to. I guess this pattern was the reason for my success - fatloss wasnīt optional for me, it was necessary.
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  #44  
Unread 05-18-2016, 07:02 AM
Steve_K Steve_K is offline
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A great philosopher named Dan John wrote about this in an article called "Free weights and free will"

http://ditillo2.blogspot.co.uk/2011/...-john.html?m=1

I enjoyed reading it anyway.

Cheers

Steve

Last edited by Steve_K : 05-18-2016 at 07:02 AM. Reason: Typo
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  #45  
Unread 05-18-2016, 12:59 PM
aspire aspire is offline
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I think the term we're all looking for is Executive Function.

If you have poor EF, you have
  • a lot of disorganization
  • poor impulse and emotional control
  • poor planning and goal setting
  • reduced use of meta-cognitive skills
  • distractibility
  • Poor task persistence
  • time and task management deficiencies
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  #46  
Unread 05-18-2016, 02:53 PM
aspire aspire is offline
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I think you're both right. It definitely helps to think 1) willpower is limitless and 2) success is a duty, requirement, necessity, obligation. Even though studies reveal that willpower does drain like a battery (at least it sorta resets every morning)... and even though there is no reason why you MUST get good results in order to be happy (you frequently will get good results from your efforts, but there is no reason why you MUST unless you want to make yourself unhappy).

Quote:
Around that time I quit smoking after 13 years, started my first job ever, worked in field I had no expertise in and ate ~1000kcal a day. Losing weight was so important to me, that it just worked.
That's the kind of change I am seeking! I get excited just reading that.

I feel like I have poor Executive Function, but the only way to improve it is to try. So much of this stuff (self discipline) is a battle against human nature. Study after study shows people can barely lose weight and then keep it off. Quitting smoking is hard. There's only a 4% recovery rate for alcoholism. Every change is hard because you have momentum to keep doing whatever you're doing and because you have neuro pathways for your current behavior. The only way to overcome our human nature is through hard work and persistent effort -- and even then, "overcome" merely means that you will fall back into old patterns again, only less frequently. I don't know why this is our reality as humans, but it is. It's a tough row to hoe. It's easier for people with good conscientiousness/Executive Function. But to all this we can only say, "So what. I'm going to do it anyway."

That having been said... I am going to change my life NOW. I started RFL this morning and I'm going to spend the rest of the week getting rid of annoying "busy" tasks so I can start living a more exciting life next week. I'd like to improve everything at all once.
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  #47  
Unread 05-20-2016, 05:59 PM
Schlansky Schlansky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspire View Post
I think you're both right. It definitely helps to think 1) willpower is limitless and 2) success is a duty, requirement, necessity, obligation. Even though studies reveal that willpower does drain like a battery (at least it sorta resets every morning)... and even though there is no reason why you MUST get good results in order to be happy (you frequently will get good results from your efforts, but there is no reason why you MUST unless you want to make yourself unhappy).



That's the kind of change I am seeking! I get excited just reading that.

I feel like I have poor Executive Function, but the only way to improve it is to try. So much of this stuff (self discipline) is a battle against human nature. Study after study shows people can barely lose weight and then keep it off. Quitting smoking is hard. There's only a 4% recovery rate for alcoholism. Every change is hard because you have momentum to keep doing whatever you're doing and because you have neuro pathways for your current behavior. The only way to overcome our human nature is through hard work and persistent effort -- and even then, "overcome" merely means that you will fall back into old patterns again, only less frequently. I don't know why this is our reality as humans, but it is. It's a tough row to hoe. It's easier for people with good conscientiousness/Executive Function. But to all this we can only say, "So what. I'm going to do it anyway."

That having been said... I am going to change my life NOW. I started RFL this morning and I'm going to spend the rest of the week getting rid of annoying "busy" tasks so I can start living a more exciting life next week. I'd like to improve everything at all once.
I agree. Seeing this as a process, and trying to improve those areas we are not proficient in seems to be the only way to finally get there.
Executive function surely is something one can train, and you get better at it the longer you try. Good luck!
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