Leo  Taylor

Socrates Club

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What can we do to increase our will power?

I am attempting to locate a Ted talk and to answer the question of how to increase our daily will power. As I recall the talks basic thesis is that we, as individuals, only have so much "Will Power". Like a fuel tank when it is empty, it needs to be filled.

I believe the speaker never mentions methods to fill this tank. My natural assumptions are that a good nights sleep will do this. Then the next day you are ready to go. What I am looking for are methods, tips, tricks to help our daily will power when we do not have time for a good nights sleep.

Example: You have just had a grueling day but now have an evening meeting that is important and you need to be mentally up to speed. What can an individual do to fill that will power tank? Nap? Fruit? etc.

If I find the talk I would like to email the speaker and ask what they found refilled that tank. From my recollection that point was never specifically addressed.

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    Jan 28 2013: Thank you all for the great answers. As I read them I realize I was unclear in my question. Let me see if I can clarify what I am asking.

    From a neurological point of view. We wake up in the morning, eat, get to work and are ready to go. By the end of the day we have beaten down our mental energy. Perhaps it is dopamine levels or serotonin levels, etc. I am not up on the exact neuro-chemical state.

    I do know that protein plays a big part. If your body lacks protein then you become less mentally acute and this is what brain-washers first do to their subjects. Deny them protein.

    So, at the end of the day, when we are tired and just want a nap, or to sit and watch TV or to do nothing... Is there something we can do to get our mental state back in gear? I might think eating meat, but I think the digestion would take to long to have an immediate effect.
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    Jan 28 2013: Interesting topic.

    I find starting small and increasing it works for me.
    One common marshmallow is saving for retirement and I wish I had learned will-power little sooner, but I did learn soon enough so that I’m doing well.
    But what is hurting me is that via taxes I’m paying for the 2/3rds that did not learn will-power.
    So this is not just a personally self-improvement issues, will-power is something every kid and adult needs to learn.

    Personally I start off every day with a little task. (That could be considered will-power exercise)
    For a health issue I have I give myself a daily shoot, and instead of doing it late in the day I place it on me nightstand at bedtime and give first thing in the morning. So instead of think about that task during the day, I’m thinking what other task I can do so I no longer think about them.
    This likely came from my parents teaching me to clean my room and do my homework at a reasonable time.

    Also with a morning medicine I take I also exercise some will-power by taking it with some vitamins and a class of carrot juice. So by the time I get to work my will power is awake and I can turn down those unhealthy snacks and drinks.
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    Jan 28 2013: Are you thinking of de Posada's talk called Don't Eat the Marshmallow?

    Prominent psychologists who work in the area of willpower are Martin Seligman (also a TED speaker) and Angela Duckworth of UPenn and Roy Baumeister of Florida State.

    One of the most popular blogs in the world, Zen Habits, takes up this sort of problem as well, but I expect you would find lots of advice on this in many places online.
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      Jan 28 2013: What a sweet talk.....Don't Eat the Marshmallow....Thank you.
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    Jan 27 2013: G’day Leo

    Funny enough to me it’s acceptance of oneself, the environment, the rest of humanity & your own circumstances the way it is. Accept the situation the way it is not the way you want it to be because if were not accepting of how it actually is we are ongoing to waste our time conflicting with this non-acceptance. Once you are non-conflicting you are then able to see much clearly what needs to be changed. Conflicts take away the power of will power but acceptance does quite the opposite.

  • Jan 27 2013: That is a really good question. What hold us back to do those things that we want, that we know are good not only for us but to others. Sometimes when I know I have to do something but " I don't have the energy or the will", I just tell to my self: Alex, is time to do more and think less! like going to the gym for example!