NeuroGym, LLC: neurogym
NeuroGym, LLC: neurogym

Are you keeping an open mind?

Email sent: Jun 29, 2020 2:54pm

Is this your brand on Milled? You can claim it.

In this self-talk study, Dr. Senay recruited volunteers on the pretense that they were needed for handwriting research.
NeuroGym News 
June 29, 2020

According to Wray Herbert, a scientific journalist and the senior director for science communication at the Association for Psychological Science, there may be sound science to back up willpower.

In an article from Scientific American, Herbert wrote about the work of psychologist Ibrahim Senay and how Senay figured out an intriguing way to create a laboratory version of both willfulness and willingness—to explore possible connections to intention, motivation, and goal-directed actions.

Dr. Senay identified some key traits needed not only for long-term abstinence but for any personal objective . . . from losing weight to learning to play the guitar.

He did this by exploring self-talk.

Self-talk is just what it sounds like—that voice in your head that articulates what you are thinking, spelling out your options, intentions, and hopes and fears . . . (It's basically the ongoing conversation you have with yourself.)

Senay thought that the form and texture of self-talk—right down to the sentence structure—might be important in shaping plans and actions. What’s more, self-talk might be a tool for exerting the will—or being willing.

Here's how Senay tested this notion.

He had a group of volunteers work on a series of anagrams—changing the word “sauce” to “cause,” for example, or “when” to “hewn.” But before starting this task, half the volunteers were told to contemplate whether they would work on anagrams, while the others simply thought about the fact that they would be doing anagrams in a few minutes.

The difference is subtle, but the former was basically putting their mind into wondering mode, while the latter were asserting themselves and their will. It is the difference between “Will I do this?” and “I will do this.”

The results were provocative. People with "wondering minds" completed significantly more anagrams than did those with willful minds.

In other words, the people who kept their minds open were more goal-directed and more motivated than those who declared their objective to themselves.

These findings are counterintuitive. Think about it. Why would asserting one’s intentions undermine rather than advance a stated goal? Perhaps, Senay hypothesized, it is because questions by their nature speak to possibility and freedom of choice.

Meditating on them might enhance feelings of autonomy and intrinsic motivation, creating a mindset that promotes success. 

Keeping an Open Mind

Senay designed another experiment to look at the question differently. In this study, he recruited volunteers on the pretense that they were needed for a handwriting study. Some wrote the words “I will” over and over; others wrote “Will I?”

After priming the volunteers with this fake handwriting task, Senay had them work on the anagrams. And just as before, the determined volunteers performed worse than the open-minded ones.

Next, Senay ran still another version of this experiment, one more obviously related to healthy living. Instead of anagrams, he changed the goal to exercise; that is, he measured the volunteers’ intentions to start and stick to a fitness regimen.

And in this real-world scenario, he got the same basic result: those primed with the interrogative phrase “Will I?” expressed a much greater commitment to exercise regularly than did those primed with the declarative phrase “I will.”

What’s more, when the volunteers were questioned about why they felt they would be newly motivated to get to the gym more often, those primed with the question said things like: “Because I want to take more responsibility for my own health.”

Those primed with “I will” offered strikingly different explanations, such as: “Because I would feel guilty or ashamed of myself if I did not.”

This last finding is crucial. It indicates that those with questioning minds were more intrinsically motivated to change. They were looking for a positive inspiration from within, rather than attempting to hold themselves to a rigid standard.

Those asserting will lacked this internal inspiration, which explains in part their weak commitment to future change. Put in terms of addiction recovery and self-improvement in general, those who were asserting their willpower were in effect closing their minds and narrowing their view of their future.

Those who were questioning and wondering were open-minded, and therefore willing to see new possibilities for the days ahead. (SOURCE)

Overcome "Willpower Depletion" to Increase Your Productivity

Do you believe that willpower is a finite resource? Once you use some, you have a little bit less?

It can be easy to attribute poor decisions made at the end of the day to a lack of willpower. Have you ever felt like it’s harder to say no to a second beer or a slice of cake at the end of a long day?

Although the idea of “willpower depletion” has been widely popularized, it’s not a completely accurate account of what’s going on in your brain . . . 

According to a study performed at Stanford University, if you have a deep-seated belief in unlimited willpower, you won’t experience willpower depletion!

So if you want to overcome procrastination, change unwanted behaviors, and increase willpower to achieve the goals you desire . . . you'll want to first change your beliefs. People who believe they have a limited source of willpower display a lower ability to exercise self-control. (SOURCE)

No matter what the obstacle isbig or smallknow that deep down inside, you have to power to persevere . . . no matter what! That’s the power of belief; willpower is just a state of mind!

To overcome willpower depletion and increase your productivity (so you can accomplish your goals and dreams) . . .







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