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Ch.10: Willpower & Making It Happen

“ A leader is a dealer in hope. ” - Napolean

Crucial importance of willpower/self-control/conscientiousness/grit.  Mindset.  Mental contrasting, implementation intentions, wooping.  ‘Driving the bus’.

 

Note there are already a number of resources available on this website that are relevant for "Willpower & Making It Happen".  Look, for example, in the "Wellbeing, time management, self-control & self-determination" section in this website's "Good knowledge" area. 

Effective weight loss: a wake-up call and a personal story

I was talking to an old friend recently and I remarked on how well he was looking.  He said he had lost two stone in weight and his waist circumference had gone down from 42 to 34 inches.  Wow!  I was very interested to hear how he had done it and he very kindly agreed to write his story:  

A Wake-up Call 

Salman Rushdie "Those who do not have the power over the story that dominates their lives - the power to retell it, re-experience it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change - truly are powerless because they cannot think new thoughts."

Commitment contracts: orientation, practicalities & use as therapeutic tools

(This post is downloadable as a Word doc or a PDF file).  

I wrote yesterday about "Commitment contracts: another good way of helping us reach our goals".  In today's post I'd like to look a bit more at the practicalities of setting up and using commitment contracts.  I'll illustrate this by talking about my own personal exploration of this area, but I'd also like to highlight that I think these ideas and the associated web resources are potentially very useful tools for psychotherapists, counsellors, life coaches and their clients.  

Who can you trust ... and do they have to be boring?

May's edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology contains three articles on trust that got me thinking a bit.  It's been said that the qualities that attract you to a potential partner (or friend) may well end up being the very issues that become most problematic in the relationship.  So, for example, one's partner's ability to be spontaneous, emotional, let their hair down & have a great time may later become a real issue over their drinking, extra-marital affairs, and irresponsibility with money.  Or from the other end of the personality spectrum, their reliability and conscientiousness may become a real strain because they later seem over-cautious and kill-joys.  Anyway here's three additional contributions to this debate:

Embodied cognition: what to do

  This blog post is downloadable both as a Word doc and as a PDF file.

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!"
                                                                                attrib. Goethe/William Murray

Embodied cognition: muscle & willpower

This blog post is downloadable both as a Word doc and as a PDF file.

Introduction: 
Lying very comfortably in my warm bed early this morning, I knew I wanted to get up but it was hard to do.  I waited a little, then tightened my right hand into a blade shape, "cutting through", and got up simply and easily.  Fascinatingly tightening almost any muscle group would probably have helped in "boosting my willpower" to get over the obstacle of inertia and short term comfort in order to achieve a longer term gain.  Hung & Labroo have recently published on the results of a series of very interesting experiments exploring this muscle tension/willpower boosting effect: 

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