Go ahead, chuckle. People who know me would say that it’s not possible to deplete my ego, but this phrase actually relates to the Freudian self and psychology, not my hubris.
My therapist recently introduced me to theory that willpower is a finite resource. He said to envision it as a fuel store, and when that fuel is depleted, we are much less able to make decisions, avoid impulses/temptations and stick to the plan.
His words definitely resonated with me. “Sean, before you even get to work some mornings, you’ve exhausted your store. You make a decision to wake up early. You make a decision to work out. You shower. You pick out clothes and get dressed. You shave. You eat a healthy breakfast. You plan or pack a healthy lunch. You go to work…”
I’ve done a little research on this theory called ego depletion, which was popularized by Baumeister in his New York Times Bestseller “Willpower.” I’ve downloaded the book — I know, I know, such a sin for a bibliophile like myself — and I’ll give it a read (and, yes, I’ll probably report back).
I’m not doing it so that I can stick a label on myself, or so that I can feel better about why I have such a generalized issue with controlling impulses. I’m doing it because there might be some insight as to how one might be able to train him/herself to increase the willpower storage capacity.
I guess blowing off work to read the book is probably not a productive first step. Okay, okay. Reading tonight (after swimming and eating a proper dinner).