|Will-power? We don't even know the meaning of the term.||
Selby Evans is Thinkerer Melville in Second Life
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.
Of course, the dentist may have something going with the tooth fairy.
Back to will-power. We have heard people talk about will-power. People complain that they donít 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.
There is a subtle difference between will-power and the tooth fairy. Nobody complains that they donít 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.
Self-discipline is an illusion produced by engineering the job.
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 by blaming my lack of will-power.
This story is really about my language channel. 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 donít comply.
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 in to that decision. My supposed lack of will-power was really just a demonstration that my language channel canít decide by itself. My language channel can claim to make a decision, but it canít enforce it. If I am going to make a decision that works, I need to get all my systems on board. That's where thinkering comes in.
Talk is cheap and worth every penny of it
People who wish they had more will-power may find what they seek under the topics of Choosing and Goals.
Head Nazis. Mythical characters used to express the notion that people can best improve themselves by learning mental self-discipline. A related concept is will-power. We offer no advice about self-discipline. It may work for some people. But we assume that they will have already achieved perfection.
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Copyright (c) D. F. Dansereau & S. H. Evans