Sunday, November 8, 2009

Working Up To Willpower -- Follow-up

Thanks for all the great notes today about my post on "Working Up To Willpower." I just want to address them in general and perhaps mention one or two in particular.

Yes, willpower is something that you can get better at. It's not true that you either have it or you don't, you know, as some kind of ongoing condition. It's simply that there are some who have stronger willpower than others. My sense is that they reinforce what they have and thereby have more willpower to use.

For many of you this seemed to come across as a big surprise. So I'm glad you're encouraged and that you plan on repeating the exercises until you're able to press on to bigger and more challenging things. Good job. Give yourself a gold star!

To D.F. -- You said you were only able to raise your right hand for three seconds once. I want to encourage you to think about this. Somehow you were able to write me a note about it, meaning that you used your hand more than three seconds. It looks to me that you're dealing with a mental block when given specific instructions, and it's not that you can't use your hand in a normal way. Perhaps you're thinking too much about it, or perhaps you have some kind of complex going back to childhood, in which you unconsciously rebel against instructions, then attribute it to some inability on your part. I would encourage you to try the exercise again, but this time read the instructions to yourself outloud, claiming it as your own instructions to yourself. I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised that not only will your hand follow your willpower for a brief period, but that you will be able to hold it up longer than you now imagine! Good job!

To P.W. -- I'm sorry, but I did not get the standing up and sitting down exercise from a book, so I won't be able to point you to a particular title for purchase. In regard to your desire for diagrams or drawings to enhance your understanding, I would suggest that you go somewhere to a public place, perhaps a library, somewhere where people sit in chairs and then later get up. If you wait long enough you will see precisely what it looks like. Look closely. First they will be sitting, then they will stand. There's no guarantee, I admit, that they will sit down again, but chances are, of course depending on how long you wait, someone will eventually sit down so that you can see the whole process clearly demonstrated. If somehow you are unable to get to a public place, you might put a mirror in front of a chair where you live, then watch yourself stand and sit. I appreciate your concerns, but I hope you're not too offended if I say to you that this is not that hard an exercise to conceptualize.

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