Dr. Heidi Grant
Check out the video intro for the Science of Thriving, online Sept 16-20….
December 4, 2015 at 11:35 am
POSTED March 23, 2012 at 2:45 pmPeter: Great counter-article! I tend to biveele, without having much proof, that a lot of this is trickery. I can trick myself once into accomplishing something, and then after that it doesn’t work again. What Dweck and Co wrote in the NYT article seems to be similar. My extended takeaway is that willpower, as a control function with a corresponding biological mechanism, may not exist. Willpower, perhaps, is more of a value word, an assessment of our reaction to our self-observed efforts to make some kind of change in our environment.Maybe the useful realization to come from this is that things happen regardless of what we do. More things happen, though, if we apply effort of any kind. Successful approaches are discovered, and this may adjust the way we apply our effort. Witness squirrels and bird feeders. The difference between squirrels and humans is that we make up stories and assign the idea of will + cause + effect to everything. Squirrels just bombard the feeder with everything that they try until they find something that works.Concepts like willpower, courage, intelligence, belonging, community these are concepts that are in our collective heads, and we look at them as empowering parts of our life. I suppose if it comes down to it, they aren’t necessary to consider unless they are limiting one’s belief about what is possible in non-fatal situations.To me, that suggests a universal set of doing principles:You watch anything long enough, it will change.You apply any effort to a task, it will change.Your ability to observe, assess, and then cause the change empowers you.Your ability to harness the change on your behalf sustains you.
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