Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Friday, February 24, 2012

Will to [Will]power

So, I'm reading Willpower:  Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney--as I said I would, at the beginning of this week,  having identified some continuing difficulties of my own with this elusive capacity.

I'm clipping along, encountering one fascinating aspect of self-regulation after another.  And picking up some hints along the way, aimed at enhancing my less-than-steel will.  I've been reading about David Blaine, holding his breath for 17+ minutes;  encased in ice for 63 hours Times Square; and generally engaging in professional displays of self-torture--in between personal bouts of desuetude and self-control lapses.  

I've been reading about research subjects experiencing all sorts of tests, deprivations and stimuli designed to measure and manipulate willpower, from radishes to boredom to sexual stimulation.

And I've been reading about Drew Carey hiring productivity guru David Allen to put him through his GTD [Getting Things Done] paces.  For some unmentionable amount.  And apparently to great effect.

I have certainly been entertained thus far, as the book's dust jacket promised.  And I have learned a lot about human will, and some elements that may strengthen it.  But it remains to be seen whether or not I have the willpower to implement what I'm learning.  Or even to digest the material and translate it into some discrete steps to launch my reprogramming.

I don't have Drew Carey's money.  Or David Blaine's nerve and monomania.  And I really don't like radishes.

On the other hand, I am drawn by the vision of my life with a bit more purposeful action.  So I'll keep reading.  I have at least that much self-control.  Er, willpower.

No comments:

Post a Comment