Roy Baumeister in his book “Willpower”, talks about how constant decision making, getting tired and getting hungry are scientifically proven to deplete our willpower.
Well, duh. Yes, I know it’s obvious.
But think a little more about this. Linger on the implications.
A lot of ‘self-help’ talk is mucho macho. Very muscular, Spartan, “I can pull more all-nighters than you.” Wrestling problems to the ground. Crushing it. Praetorian Guard stuff.
But there’s one thing missing. These systems don’t have to handle a two-year-old at the end of a long day, rolling through a supermarket. Or a three-year-old with an ear infection. Or the first days of dropping them off at childcare.
I beat myself up for a long, long time because I couldn’t fit my life into these models of organization. But they’re completely irrelevant to my life. They don’t have to handle the variables.
You know, kids.
So, what does Prof Baumeister have to do with this? He opens a window onto a different approach.
An approach that works with how we actually function as physical human beings, bombarded with a host of demands every day. From the 6.00 a.m. “Mommy, I wet the bed!” as we grope for a clean skirt, to the 6.00 p.m. “I’m hungry. What’s to eat!” as we sit in traffic on the way home.
An approach that shows us how, by looking after our own wellbeing, we create order, good energy, flow and harmony. Be aware of choices draining our energy. Reduce them. Eat healthy food before eating treats. Make decisions at a good time.
Disclosure statement. I confess to being a sceptic and buying his book. Then becoming a fan.
This is quietly revolutionary. This means that the whole notion of making one tiny, tiny change, only one change, and sticking with it, will bring about a transformation that springs from within us. That can be gently maintained. That becomes the relaxed, easy basis on which we operate daily.
Not wrestling. Dancing.