Baumeister’s and Tierney’s hit present an amazing revelation about the phenomenon of willpower – what it is, where it comes from, whether it can be nurtured.
Although, half way through the book, it feels like I’m reading a guide to a healthy diet and lifestyle, the research reference is fantastic.
Scientifically – or, some would say, common knowledge – if there’s no glucose in our system, there’s no willpower, as the authors put it simply. And not glucose from donuts, but from healthy, natural, raw (whenever possible) food, like fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
But that wasn’t all.
This book also helped me win my 12-year-long argument with my husband that “self-esteem” isn’t relevant.
I’ve always had an aversion to the word “self-esteem”.
I always imagine that someone is talking about a box, a hollow box.
Ok, pretty box, useful, maybe, but empty.
That’s my understanding of self-esteem.
Whereas, willpower is hard work, guts, and more guts till you finish off a hard goal.
At some point, the two authors give an amusing exercise. It’s a direct quote from the book, page 68.
I’ll let you try it out before I spill out my objective with this post.
Read the below sentences and try and complete the stories:
“Joe is having a cup of coffee in a restaurant. He’s thinking of the time to come when…”
“After awakening, Bill began to think about his future. In general he expected to…”
You’re absolutely free to pick any continuation to these two sentences.
Just give it a rough guess and scribble it somewhere if you prefer.
I tested a few teenagers with this exercise.
I’ll tell you, in Part II of this post, what the exercise aims (as mentioned in Baumeister’s and Tierny’s book) and I’ll tell you what my miniature findings indicated.
For now – I’ll let you come up with your own finish lines to these two sentences.