Monday, December 27, 2010

2013 TKR: Will-power and other myths.

Will-power and fighting yourself
Self-help--Thinkerer
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What we know about will-power is about the same as what we know about the tooth fairy. We've heard people talk about the tooth fairy. But we have never seen the tooth fairy in action. We never ask the dentist for tooth parts to take home and put under our pillows.
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Of course, the dentist may have something going with the tooth fairy. 
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Use your head! They always tell you that. They never tell you how
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Back to will-power. We have heard people talk about will-power. People complain that they don’t have will-power. Or they criticize other people for a lack of will-power. Occasionally, people suggest to someone else that a problem could be solved if only that someone else had will-power.
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There is a subtle difference between will-power and the tooth fairy. Nobody complains that they don’t have a tooth fairy. Nobody criticizes other people for not having a tooth fairy. Nobody suggests that having a tooth fairy would solve a problem.
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Self-discipline is an illusion produced by engineering the job.
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To get to the root of the will-power story, think about a time when a person is supposed to have will-power. I decide to lose weight. I decide to avoid fattening foods. I find that I do not avoid fattening foods. I explain why I did not do what I supposedly decided to do by blaming my lack of will-power.
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This story is really about my language channel. That's the part of my brain that handles language.  My language channel doesn't decide what I eat. My language channel just talks about eating. And says what I should do. And complains when I don’t comply.
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I have other systems that control what I eat. From their standpoint, my language channel exceeded its authority when it claimed I had decided to avoid fattening foods. Those other brain channels hadn't bought into that decision. My supposed lack of will-power was really just a demonstration that my language channel can’t decide by itself. My language channel can claim to make a decision, but it can’t enforce it. If I am going to make a decision that works, I need to get all my brain systems on board.
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Talk is cheap and worth every penny of it.
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Collaborate with yourself
Collaboration with yourself?  Well, some people say they have conflicts within themselves.  Collaboration is the opposite.  
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