In this new episode of The RevolutionFI Podcast, Tim Desmond discusses The ONE Thing by Gary Keller part 3.
“So, the question is this: How can 50+ folks like us, honest and hard-working, how do we manage our current responsibilities and still plan for retirement? 401ks alone won’t be enough and we don’t have 40 years to save, so how do we leverage our experience and wisdom to gain financial independence? That is the question, and this podcast will give you the answers. My name is Tim, and welcome to the Revolution. The RevolutionFI podcast.”
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Welcome back to the Book Club of the Month episode. We have been talking about The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller.
Now, before we get into today’s episode, I would love to ask you to leave a comment. On this episode, ask me a question, give us some thought about Gary Keller’s book. You may have noticed or not that I’ve recently rebuilt the website on WordPress, and therefore the comments are in their full glory, so please take advantage of that. I would love to interact with you on the site that is at revolutionfi.com.
Today, this is the third installment of the Book Club of the Month series, and as I teased yesterday, we’re going to talk about psychic vampires. Gary describes psychic vampires in the section of his book called What Takes Your Willpower? Psychic vampires is my label for it, but it means the same thing as what Gary’s talking about.
Your willpower is like a fuel tank. It is full, usually in the morning, when you first wake up, and it’s depleted throughout the day as you have to place mental calories towards certain tasks or activities. There’s a lot of science behind this. Even if you are not a morning person, chances are you make your best decisions early when you have the most willpower. That begs the big question of well, if you have willpower in the morning, and depletes throughout the day, where is it going? Who is taking it? Yes, my friends, there are psychic vampires around. Let’s talk about some of those, as proposed by Gary Keller.
Implementing New Behaviors
All right, the first one is implementing new behaviors. Anytime you try something new, you’re using a little bit of willpower, it’s going to take some mental energy to do something new. We are creatures of habit, we love routine. Anytime you have to do something new, it’s going to tax your brain a little bit.
Another psychic vampire is filtering distractions. It takes energy to block out the things that are trying to steal your attention. This is one of the reasons why I struggled to work in coffee shops or public places because I use so much of my energy filtering distractions that I can’t focus on what I’m doing. If you’re naturally introverted or extroverted, your level of tolerance for those distractions will vary, but at some level, everybody must use some amount of energy or willpower to filter those distractions.
Another psychic vampire is resisting temptation. You know you have seen those cookies on the counter, and it would be so easy just to grab one. Therefore, not grabbing one of those cookies, resisting that temptation, is going to drain some of your willpower. It’s one of the reasons why dieting generally doesn’t work for most people. By the time you get to your last meal of the day, you’re out of willpower, and you end up eating out of convenience, rather than health.
Another psychic vampire is suppressing emotion. If you’re in a situation where you feel as though you cannot express what’s happening to you, and you must suppress that emotion, it’s going to take willpower in a very similar way. Restraining aggression will also zap your willpower. If you feel the urge to lash out, whether that be verbally or physically and you don’t, you’re using some of your willpower. Suppressing impulses will also sap your willpower. If you feel something rush up on you and you want to do it, and you just do it, you haven’t exerted any willpower. Feeling something bubbling up in you and you push it back down, and this could be in very positive ways as well. Then you are using willpower.
A few other things that are psychic vampires: taking tests. Anytime you have to use any type of cognitive ability, whether that is a school test, a driving test, any type of test, it’s going to sap your willpower. If you are trying to impress other people, that is going to sap your willpower. Coping with fear, living in a state of anxiety, that is going to sap your willpower. Doing something you don’t enjoy, it’s going to cause you to use more energy than if you were doing something you love to do. Finally, selecting long term over short term rewards. The short term rewards are easier to pull off, but the long term rewards, even though they’re better, will take more willpower.
That is a very quick summary of what Gary Keller says taxes your willpower. You can probably tell how this fits into The ONE Thing methodology that he proposes. You need to be able to focus. If you are using your mental calories to focus on the right things, you’re going to have to use some of those to block out the things that are not helping.
The Big Takeaway
Although it’s beyond the scope of this single episode, I think the big takeaway, the key here, is to create habits and systems that put your willpower on autopilot. If you don’t have the cookies in the house in the first place, you don’t have to use willpower to resist the temptation to eat them, and I think that is the frame of mind you want to be in when you’re trying to find out what is that one thing that you want to do.
Alright, hope you enjoyed that. I think we have one more episode of The ONE Thing for the Book Club of the Month. Next week, tomorrow bringing back hair of the blog for Thursday, and I’ll give you a little teaser here. I’m going to be talking about newsletters as tasty revenue. See you tomorrow.
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