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Author Topic: The concepts in Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change  (Read 51 times)

Patty Rain

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I'm putting this on book club because it is the ideas in the a book, but I am really hoping for more conversation about the concepts knowing that others may not read the book. So please join in if you have any thoughts about it.  I haven't finished the book, but am about half way through it.  I will go back and touch on some things from the beginning and then add more as I read. 

This book is Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change

If you don't have it already you can get a free 30 day trial of Deseret Book Plus and you can download the audio or ebook free for that time.  After that I think the cost is $10 per month, but goes down to $7 per month if you are in the rewards club (cost $25). I said I think because I did this at Christmas time and I am not sure if there was any special.

Anyway, it doesn't really matter to me if you join the plus or even read the book.  I just want to discuss the topics in the book.

Ugh.  Wanted to spend more time on this, but I need to go do something now so I am going to put just a wee bit in. 

Quote
“The frustrating thing is that we're often so ineffective in coming to the changes we want! We grit our teeth and seek to fight our inner weaknesses through sheer willpower—and then we're disappointed and discouraged when change doesn't come, or when it comes too slowly.

  We've seen this problem over and over as professional counselors: people who want to gain more control over their lives but just don't seem to be able to. We've grappled with the same problem in our personal lives. As we've worked and counseled and struggled over the years, we've come to a surprising conclusion: Efforts at using willpower don't work because using willpower isn't the right way to go about changing ourselves!”

“Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change” by A. Dean Byrd, Mark Chamberlain

So maybe start with - have you found your willpower is not enough?

The book goes into what does help and I want to discuss that latter.  So just for now in this question I'm want to know about your efforts of just using will power. 
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 
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Jason

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Re: The concepts in Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 11:46:42 am »
Willpower is enough for any 1 moment, but not for continuous moments which make up our lives.  I think a lot of it has to do with benefits and harms. We have evolved to live in a world wherein we can survive without constant threat of death or harm. There are very few things that will harm us continually that we cannot get away from. We can find relative security in doing what comes easiest. There are also immediate benefits to doing things that might bring long term harms to us. Our brains are/become hardwired to reward us for short term pleasures. In pre-modern times salt and sugar had immense survival benefits, so our brains are hardwired to seek those out, which in our times of plenty can lead to some poor long term dietary choices. Reproduction also had great benefits, and hi-jacking those reward centers can lead to poor choices.

Structure is very important in me being productive. I get far more accomplished on days that I have many appointments and assignments, rather than days that I do not have anything planned. I wouldn't necessarily call it being forced to do something, because there is still free will, but having structure and accountability provides incentives to make better choices.
 

Roper

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Re: The concepts in Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 12:15:25 pm »
The first three steps of any 12 step program, even the church's addiction recovery program, say pretty much the same thing.
All grown-ups were once children...but only few of them remember it. ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince."
 

Patty Rain

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Re: The concepts in Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 11:14:44 pm »
Willpower is enough for any 1 moment, but not for continuous moments which make up our lives.  I think a lot of it has to do with benefits and harms. We have evolved to live in a world wherein we can survive without constant threat of death or harm. There are very few things that will harm us continually that we cannot get away from. We can find relative security in doing what comes easiest. There are also immediate benefits to doing things that might bring long term harms to us. Our brains are/become hardwired to reward us for short term pleasures. In pre-modern times salt and sugar had immense survival benefits, so our brains are hardwired to seek those out, which in our times of plenty can lead to some poor long term dietary choices. Reproduction also had great benefits, and hi-jacking those reward centers can lead to poor choices.

Structure is very important in me being productive. I get far more accomplished on days that I have many appointments and assignments, rather than days that I do not have anything planned. I wouldn't necessarily call it being forced to do something, because there is still free will, but having structure and accountability provides incentives to make better choices.

That is pretty much what the book says!  It does much more detail of why it is not enough and gives examples etc, but for that concept you nailed what it said. 
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 

Patty Rain

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Re: The concepts in Willpower Is Not Enough: Why We Don't Succeed at Change
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 11:15:35 pm »
The first three steps of any 12 step program, even the church's addiction recovery program, say pretty much the same thing.

The book actually mentions this as well.

Did the two of you write the book?  ;)
Time for a change.  I am yungmom, but have wanted a new username for some time.
 

 


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