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.
Abe Sorock is changing the world -- he's the resident and runs the Moishe House Beijing, and he's bringing together very talented and amazing people from the worlds of international business, government, and philanthropy. Professionally, he's the founder and director of Atlas China, which providers staffing and consulting in HR throughout China.
To promote his GiveGetWin deal which is a 1-on-1 session about developing leadership and throwing world-class events, he sat down with me to share his exceptional and brilliant thinking and the methods he uses to bring people together -- and perhaps more crucially, how to become the kind of person who takes charge and sees yourself as a leader co-creating the experience of yourself and everyone in your world.
"The Paradigm Shift: Changing The Fabric Of Your World" by Abe Sorock, as told to Sebastian Marshall
The first step in leading people and putting together great groups is to have a paradigm shift in who you are.
The shift happened for me when I was a student at the Hopkins Nanjing Center. I realized -- if I saw myself as a student paying transactional fee and getting a diploma, I'd behave differently than if I saw myself as part of the fabric of an organization who will be looked on by future classes.