Saturday, August 6, 2011

Will power and moral choice

I have made little progress on a number of goals I set for myself this year. I havent blogged asI'd hoped, I havent saved as I hoped, read the books I'd hoped etc. However, there is one area of my desire to self improve that has gone well, my diet and exercise regime.

With a few slip ups here and there, by and large my weight and fitness is going in the right direction. I've lost around 16 kg, I'm running distances I used to struggle to walk, and all in all I'm confident I will make my end of year goal. But the question is why is this working but nothing else?

I feel and answer emerging in my mind.

Last week I heard something on the radio that really interested me. A study has been done into willpower. They found that people that had a moral dimension (good or bad) to there decision making displayed far greater 'will power' in achieving whatever it was they set out to do. This aligns with a on moral psychology (specifically moral identity) that found that in the lives of extraordinary achievers there was a link between their drive to succeed and the alignment of their moral and personal goals.

So, back to fitness and reading, blogging, photographing etc. I think this is the key. Fitness has become, for me, a moral choice. Not being fit and healthy has become a moral failing therefore my 'will power' to stay the course gets a massive boost. The other goals I set for myself dont have that support, so they founder.

So, looking ahead my plan is to review my goals to make them something I really care about, to forge that link between moral and personal. But its not just that, in many cases I feel there is a link between some of my goals and my morality already, I just forget it. So I also need to identify those areas where there is a hidden alignment and bring that into the open.

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