A couple days ago we discussed "Man's Bedrock" -- does putting a source of value and certainty at the deepest level in something external help during highly leveraged moments?
Turns out, there's answer. And it's --
I just came across this explanation from "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business." It certainly seems plausible --
"Over and over again, alcoholics said the same thing: Identifying cues and choosing new routines is important, but without another ingredient, the new habits never fully took hold.
The secret, the alcoholics said, was God.
Researchers hated that explanation. Got and spirituality are not testable hypotheses. Churches are filled with drinks and people who continue drinking despite a pious faith. In conversations with addicts, though, spirituality kept coming up again and again.
A pattern emerged [from new research and surveys]. Alcoholics who practiced the techniques of habit replacement, the data indicated, could often stay sober until there was a stressful event in their lives -- at which point, a certain number started drinking again, no matter how many new routines they had embraced.
However, those alcohols who believed, like John in Brooklyn, that some higher power had entered their lives were more likely to make it through the stressful periods with their sobriety intact.
It wasn't God that mattered, the researchers figured out. It was belief itself that made a difference. Once people learned how to believe in something, that skill started spilling over to other parts of their lives, until they started believing they could change. Belief was the ingredient that made a reworked habit loop into a permanent behavior."
How about having a routine that explicitly allows you to drink, but only if you're going through a stressful period? Of course, you'd need a good definition of a stressful period--maybe you'd get a friend to define it, for instance. Something like this has worked for me...
See also Gregory Bateson's "The Cybernetics of 'Self': A Theory of Alcoholism" (published in Psychiatry, Vol. 34, 1971; reprinted in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, 1972).
reminds me of wayne dyer's work. very spiritual. his audio books can be a little much at times, but inspiring nonetheless
Jason Shen has achieved tremendous success in athletics, technology entrepreneurship, writing, and living an outstanding life. To promote his recent GiveGetWin deal on The Science of Willpower, he sat down to tell us how he started learning about willpower, the state of what's known scientifically about how willpower and the brain work, and how you can start improving your life right away by implementing a tiny habit, thinking and systems, and using some powerful thinking tools. Enjoy:
Developing Willpower by Jason Shen, as told to Sebastian Marshall
Willpower has been an undercurrent in my entire life. In gymnastics, you have to use your willpower to overcome your fear of an activity and go for the skill you want, to get over the fear, to push yourself to finish your conditioning and strength training a part of you doesn't want to…
It didn't come automatically to me. When I was a student, I wasn't automatically self-disciplined. There were actions I knew were useful, like doing my homework in one session without getting distracted, or not throwing clothing on my apartment floor. But I wouldn't always do them, and I didn't know why.
I started to learn those answers during a student initiative course at Stanford called The Psychology of Personal Change. That's when I first started reading academic papers on the topic. In academia, willpower and self-discipline is often called "self-regulation," and in 2009 I started to get really serious about it from an academic perspective -- and saw gains from it in my personal life.
Is God telling you something you already know?
A group of French researchers recently conducted a study on sleep and dreams. They discovered that people who often recall their dreams tend to be bad sleepers, easily influenced by external stimuli (i.e. noises, light). But they figured out something else: the sleeping brain cannot memorize or learn new information.
The word "dream" occurs six times in the New Testament, all in the Gospel of Matthew. Five of those occur in the first two chapters. God communicates to people through dreams, thus influencing them to make very important decisions in their waking lives. For instance, he tells a man named Joseph not to divorce the young and pregnant Mary who happens to be carrying "somebody else's" baby.
Have you ever had a gut feeling that you ignored?
You know what I'm talking about. There's something you know without a doubt that you should do, but you're worried about what other people will think, or you're afraid you'll do it wrong. You second guess yourself into doing nothing, and then later you regret it.