Saturday, August 2, 2014

Final Project: Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

Reading the book "Willpower" was a huge eye opener for me. It was filled with experiments and ideas about how willpower works, and on a daily basis how people lose it in activities. Different peoples from parts of the world have willpower more so than other cultures from other parts in the world. A great example of this from the book is when you have alot of work to do in a semester and by the end you study so hard. As you study harder and harder you soon reach a point of exhaustion and some people will make statements like " I don't care what grade I get I just want to get this overwith". This is an example of a person losing the will to keep peaking in their performance.

Chapter 9 creates an interesting viewpoint about Asian peoples and narcissism. It seems as though considering Asian people have a strong emphasis on discipline and self control from an early age, narcissism doesn't seem to effect them like it does in the West. This is interesting to me considering I have done martial arts for several years and I too feel in control of myself and a lot more disciplined than the years I was not involved.

Chapter 8 there is a man named Eric Clapton who has a problem with substance abuse. In this particular case it seems he is distorting his realities in which he goes on binges drinking, snorting cocaine, using heroin and such. This goes on a on until he then checks himself into a clinic for treatment. After treatment he drives past a pub and at the time gave up the willpower to say "no" and had a beer on tap and from that point on he divulged himself into substance abuse once again. All along he had been contemplating suicide with a shotgun and would get messed up on drugs with a shotgun beside him as he thought. This goes to show that substance abuse is always a symptom of a much larger problem a person might have.

This book helped me in ways where I see that it takes "willpower" and acknowledging your circumstances through mindfulness to fix a problem. Now when I see and feel myself losing willpower and I can remind myself of everything I learned in this reading.

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