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291 pages, Hardcover
First published January 1, 2011
The intelligent want self-control; children want candy. - RumiIf there is only one principle for success, it would be doing the things that are right and doing them at the right time. That's not easy. But we can make it easy.
The more the body suffers, the more the spirit flowers. - Davic BlaineThe practices in this part, focus on enlarging the fuel tank of willpower.
I had desires, I killed them, now I'm the master.
I have taken a solemn, enduring oath, an oath to be kept while the least hope of life remains in me, not to be tempted to break the resolution I have formed, no living man, or men, shall stop me, only death can prevent me, But death — not even this; I shall not die, I will not die, I cannot die! — Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa’s Greatest ExplorerThe Essence of the strategy is to lock yourself into a virtuous path.
Precommitment is an effective strategy that would prevent you from having to rely on willpower in the first place.
"...They’ve come to realize that most major problems, personal and social, center on failure of self-control: compulsive spending and borrowing, impulsive violence, underachievement in school, procrastination at work, alcohol and drug abuse, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, chronic anxiety, explosive anger. Poor self-control correlates with just about every kind of individual trauma: losing friends, being fired, getting divorced, winding up in prison..."
"The experiments consistently demonstrated two lessons:
1. You have a finite amount of willpower that becomes depleted as you use it.
2. You use the same stock of willpower for all manner of tasks. You might think you have one reservoir of self-control for work, another for dieting, another for exercise, and another for being nice to your family. But the radish experiment showed that two completely unrelated activities—resisting chocolate and working on geometry puzzles—drew on the same source of energy, and this phenomenon has been demonstrated over and over. There are hidden connections among the wildly different things you do all day. You use the same supply of willpower to deal with frustrating traffic, tempting food, annoying colleagues, demanding bosses, pouting children. Resisting dessert at lunch leaves you with less willpower to praise your boss’s awful haircut. The old line about the frustrated worker going home and kicking the dog jibes with the ego-depletion experiments, although modern workers generally aren’t so mean to their pets. They’re more likely to say something nasty to the humans in the household."