“When we are not sure, we are alive.” — Graham Greene
Fascinating article in Scientific American Mind this month: The Willpower Paradox. Turns out that resolving to do something is not nearly as effective as wondering if you will do it.
…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.
I’ve always wondered why my softer declarations were more effective than my stricter ones. I wonder if I’ll remember this article in the future?
Lots of sponsored classes at this event next month on Pier 46… Pilates, Martial Arts, Surfboarding, 80’s Dance, Hologram Yoga [?], Boxing, and Burlesque! Thanks to our friends at Flywheel for the heads up!
ARE YOU GAME for an unforgettable day of fun, complete with inventive workout classes, eat smart demos, workout-to-knockout makeovers, live DJ and more? Of course you are! So plan to grab your girlfriends and get in on the fun! If you don’t live in NYC, you can enter a chance to win a trip to the event.
Women’s Health ARE YOU GAME? Event!
Pier 46 Hudson River Bank
Charles Street and West Street
New York, NY
Registration Cabana is open from 10:00AM–4:00PM
Get a free tote bag when you register. Be one of the first 1,300 girls on site and receive a free Kulae yoga mat! ($40 value)
Twice in my life have I wandered into a yoga class where I felt completely fascinated, connected, and at home. The first was with Jhon Tamayo at Atmananda, where I ended up doing my teacher training. The second was this past weekend with Jill Miller at Omega.
I’d heard about Jill from Brooke Siler, who runs Re:Ab Pilates here in New York. She said if I liked anatomy and alignment, I would like Jill. Then my friend T’ai Jamar, who runs T’ai Yoga Therapy, happened to link to Jill on Facebook. And she was leading a retreat upstate the following weekend. Perfect timing!