Michael Matthews Bigger Leaner Stronger The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body.pdf

50 anticipating the shame and disapproval from others

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50 Anticipating the shame and disapproval from others that comes with failure can also help you stay strong in the face of temptation, but it isn’t as powerful in this regard as pride. 51
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THE CRYSTAL BALL OF DELUSION One of our favorite ways to abandon our self-control is to justify our sins of the present with planned virtues of the future. For example, research shows that simply planning on exercising later can increase the likelihood of cheating on a diet. 52 This type of thinking not only reeks of moral licensing, but it also introduces another critical flaw into the mix: the assumption that we’ll somehow make different decisions in the future than we do today. Today I will eat twice the dessert, but tomorrow I will stick to my diet. Today I will skip my workout, but tomorrow I’ll double up. Today I will binge on my favorite TV shows, but I won’t watch anymore for the rest of the week. We simply give our future selves too much credit, counting on them to be able to do whatever we can’t bring ourselves to do now. We’re too quick to assume that we’ll be more enthusiastic, energetic, willful, diligent, motivated, brave, morally strong…insert virtues ad nauseam…in a couple of days, weeks, or months. Such optimism would be okay if we knew we could actually follow through on it all. But we both know that’s not how it goes. When the future finally arrives, that noble, idealized version of ourselves is nowhere to be found, and the demands we face aren’t nearly as easy as we told ourselves they would be. What to do, then? Put it all off again, of course, hoping that our savior will rescue us next time. This type of thinking simply burdens our future selves with an impossible load of tasks and responsibilities. As you make your way on the Bigger Leaner Stronger program, be on the lookout for the lure of future virtue justifying today’s vice. Avoid the trap of viewing Future You as some abstract entity whose emotions and desires will be different than Present You’s. Realize that, when tomorrow comes, the chances of actually following through on what you didn’t do earlier are slim. More often than not, you’re going to find yourself in the exact same state of mind as previously, and you’re going to sell yourself a little further down the river. As you get better at this, you’ll be improving what scientists call your “future self-continuity,” which is your ability to connect future consequences with present actions. 53 High future-self continuity will not only help you get into shape, but it will also improve many other areas of your life as well. You can also use a couple of mental exercises to build your future self- continuity. Research shows that just thinking about the future—not even the rewards, per se—can strengthen willpower. Thus, by imagining the future, doing what you need to do or refraining from doing what you shouldn’t do, you can increase the likelihood of your following through.
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  • Winter '17
  • Santos O'Neill Garcia
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