How To Recharge Your Willpower


Improvement Pill here, welcome to lesson #8 of the Tamed Course. In the previous lessons you learned about
how habits worked, then you picked out a habit to build over the course of the next couple
of months, and then we started talking about willpower. How it works and how we can become more efficient
with the way we spend our willpower. If you have not watched any of those videos
just, I highly suggest you pause this video right now and click on the link in the description
below which will bring you to the playlist with all the Tamed Lessons in chronological
order. Because If you really want to change your
life and get rid of your bad habits you need to take this course seriously. Watch all the videos and make sure you watch
them to the very end. We now know that our levels of willpower are
drained throughout the day due to a variety of things. This can cause us to enter a state of ego
depletion where it becomes super easy to become impulsive and slack off on our good habits. So it’s crucial to avoid staying in this state
for too long. And that brings up the question how in the
world do we recharge our willpower so that if we ever enter a state of ego depletion,
we can get out of it. I think the best way to start off this lesson
is by looking at a study that was conducted at Columbia University by a Professor Jonathan
Levav. His team looked at over a thousand cases of
judges who worked on the parole board. These judges had to decide whether or not
a prisoner should be released to the public, so it’s pretty serious work. The researchers noticed something very interesting. The biggest indicator for whether or not a
prisoner was granted parole was not the type of crimes they committed, the amount of years
they already served, or even how good-mannered they were in prison. It was actually the time of day they showed
up in court. The study found that prisoners who appeared
early in the morning had the highest chance of approval. A 65% chance. However, as the day went on these rates of
approval would decline. This decline was so significant that prisoners
who appeared later in the morning right before lunch time only had a 20% chance of getting
approved. Why is this? Well it’s because each time the judge makes
a decision he uses up some of his willpower. This is called Decision Fatigue, which we
discussed in depth in our previous lesson. As the judges level of willpower drops it
becomes harder and harder for him or her to make these decisions. So the judges would simply deny the request
for parole as it was the safer option. Right because if you’re a judge and you’re
not sure what the right decision is, it’s safer to just keep the prisoner in jail than
to let him out. Around noon the judges would go on a lunch
break. When he returned all of a sudden the rate
of approval would spike back up to around 60%. This study shows us just how much of a difference
we can make if we recharge our levels of willpower. And the way we do it all comes down to 2 things
that the judges did during their short lunch break. The first is by eating food. We all know that our body needs food in order
to function. So it’s no surprise that it has a direct effect
on our levels of willpower. But we can’t just stuff ourselves with junk
food or sweets and expect to feel great right after. A study was conducted on a large group of
high school students in 2007. The researchers split the students into 3
groups. The first group was given a low-glycemic breakfast
(which included foods like eggs and grapefruit). For those of you that don’t know what the
glycemic index is, it’s basically the effect a food has on your blood glucose levels. The lower a foods glycemic index is, the slower
it raises your blood glucose level. Ok so – The second group was given a high-glycemic
breakfast (so foods like muffins and pop-tarts). The third and final group was the control
group and they were told to completely skip breakfast altogether. Then the researchers asked the teachers (who
did not know what their students had for breakfast) to rate each of their students during their
morning classes which lasted from 8:00 AM to 10:30 AM. The students were rated on their academic
performance, which included things like how focused they were during class and how well
behaved they were. The students who had the low-glycemic breakfast
did very well. Almost all of them scored high on their academic
performance for the entire morning. The students who had a high-glycemic breakfast
did well during the first hour of class. But after around 9:00 AM they started to lose
their focus and their academic performance dropped. The students who skipped breakfast did the
worst. They had an extremely hard time paying attention
and were very disruptive. They had the lowest academic performance score. So what does this study show us? Well it shows us that there’s a connection
between our blood glucose level and our levels of willpower. See our brains actually need glucose in order
to operate. But high-glycemic foods like muffins are digested
very fast. This means the amount of glucose in your blood
goes up very fast and then returns to it’s baseline soon after. So for a short period of time you’ll have
fuel for your brain but soon after this fuel runs out. And this is why the student’s who ate high-glycemic
foods for breakfast stopped performing well after 9:00AM. Because they no longer had fuel for their
brain. Without fuel you can’t recharge your willpower. On the other hand low-glycemic foods like
eggs take much longer to digest. And because of this they provide a steady
increase in blood glucose level but for a long period of time. The students who ate a low-glycemic breakfast
received fuel all morning and because of this they were able to maintain their levels of
willpower and perform well. The students who skipped breakfast had no
fuel and because of this they performed the worst. Interestingly enough after the morning classes,
all 3 groups were given the same meal for lunch. The teachers then reported no difference in
academic performance between the 3 groups. So if you want to recharge your levels of
willpower it’s best to eat low-glycemic foods like meats, veggies, nuts, or even certain
fruits. The next way we can recharge our levels of
willpower is by switching our brains mode. What do I mean by this? Well – when we have to deal with things like
Decision Fatigue or Mental Processes our brain is on something called Thinking Mode. In this mode our levels of willpower are being
constantly drained. Kind of like the battery levels on your phone
when you’re watching videos. Right – It goes down pretty fast. In order for us to effectively recharge our
levels of willpower we have to switch our brain to whats call Standby Mode. This is equivalent to turning your phone off
and allowing it to charge. And as we all know our phones charge significantly
faster if we’re not using it at the same time. So what is Standby Mode? Well – When you’re in Standby Mode you’re
not making any tough decisions or thinking hard about anything. You’re allowing your mind to wander naturally
and you’re enjoying the things around you. For example: a great way to enter Standby
Mode is to go out for a short walk. When you go out for a walk you’re suddenly
surrounded by a bunch of other things. There’s trees to look at, birds to listen
to, and you allow yourself to take a break from all the work you’ve been doing. Studies have actually shown that walking around
the block for just 5 to 10 minutes gives our brain enough time to recharge a significant
amount of willpower. Now There are countless other ways you can
enter Standby Mode. So it’s really up to you to decide what you
want to do. Personally, when I work I tend to work for
about 2-3 hours at a time. When I feel like I’ve drained a decent amount
of willpower – I’ll switch off Thinking Mode by watching some entertaining YouTube videos
or an episode of a Netflix series or even just chatting with some of my friends. After about 30 minutes of this my willpower
levels will naturally recharge and I’ll return to my work. If you’re someone who thinks way too much
and you have a hard time switching off Thinking Mode. You have a hard time relaxing, I suggest you
look into the habit of Meditation. In fact there’s a very high chance that meditation
would be the best keystone habit for you. This is because if you get into the habit
of Meditating your ability to quiet your mind and control your thoughts will improve dramatically. I have a couple of videos on Meditation, it’s
benefits, and how to do it which I will link to in the description below. The 3rd and final way we can recharge our
levels of willpower is also the most important. And that’s by getting proper sleep. When we sleep a variety of things happen. For one we allow our brain to switch off of
Thinking Mode for an extended period of time which allows our willpower to completely recharge. Some of you are probably thinking & how is
our willpower recharging? if we’re not eating anything while we’re asleep how do we get
that glucose that fuels our brain? Well it’s actually because when we’re asleep
our brain requires significantly less glucose and our body also becomes more efficient with
the glucose that’s already in our blood stream. So you don’t have to eat anything at night
to recharge your willpower. What’s interesting is that if you don’t get
enough sleep your body’s ability to process glucose gets impaired. Which explains why most people tend to perform
terribly when it comes to sticking to their habits if they don’t get enough sleep the
previous night. To sum it all up there’s 3 things you can
do to recharge your levels of willpower. You should eat low-glycemic foods for your
meals like meats and veggies instead of high-glycemic foods like waffles and pancakes. You should relax when you feel yourself entering
a state of ego depletion by turning off Thinking Mode and entering Standby Mode
And most importantly you must get a good nights rest. I do want to clarify one thing. What we covered today was just the biological
ways our body recharges our willpower. For quite some time now it was believed that
these accounted for the majority of the willpower we have throughout the day. But recent studies point to the fact that
the biggest influence is what goes on in our head. How we view willpower and our motivations. These psychological factors may actually have
more of an influence on our willpower than these biological factors. We will discuss these factors in our next
lesson. The Tamed Course was brought to you with the
help of the patrons of this channel. If you’ve gained some value from this course
it’d mean a lot to me if you could become a patron too. Each and every single dollar allows me to
continue to make this sort of content for absolutely free. For those of you that decide to support, I
am truly grateful.

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Reader Comments

  1. GetPsyched

    Recharging in any context is vital! There is a need to understand that will power is something we need constant access to. Recharging then is vital!!

  2. JeffNotes

    Very nice! I personally do a 10 min walk around every 2 hours or so during work. However, I think I have to stop thinking and just enjoy the walk because I ended keeping my mind too active. Thanks for this insight!

  3. Sideways Stewie

    First time i say BS to you! Can you please refer me to the study that "implies" having breakfast is better than no breakfast so I can read which kind of people they picked for not having breakfast and how much time they had a transitional phase etc? thnx

  4. MrBlodhund

    This is not to give critic to Improvement pill, but i just wonder guys, does any of you actually turn your life around by watching these videoes? I have a little and getting there by doing meditation and some other things

  5. Enam M Suchiang

    why is that when I start to work for something I know its the right thing and when someone came and said that look at me "I didn't do like that but still I am able to perform better and when something like came from other it make everything I believe come to nothing. How does it effect like that just only a sentence

  6. ReyesPiano

    Great video! I love this series.
    Have you read the book A Mind for Numbers?
    Some of the points you mention are also mentioned in that book.

  7. none of your business

    The results of the ego depletion experiments could not be replicated by researchers all over the world. It’s not finite and it doesn’t have to do with glucose levels.

  8. Elisedd_Damh

    So far this course has been useful, informative, easy to understand and easy to implement.
    The habit I chose is running. Twice a day, once when I get up and once when i get home. 2.5 min minimum, ideal 5-20 mins. Honestly I chose my habit by flipping a coin.

  9. MaximusPayne

    The thing about standby mode is interesting, but it's still not very clear to me.
    I've been a fan of "Deep Work" ever since I read Cal Newport's book, which is something I can really vouch for, but going off for a walk or anything else actually derails you from where you were at the time, so it does look like it can have a benefit from the Willpower standpoint, but probably results in a lower performance.
    What do you think, IP?

  10. Afterschool Psychology

    I've watched an interview of Mel Robinson, author of the 5 second rule. She doesnt believe in will power or motivation but instead hacking your brain to bypass its worry part and going directly to the frontal lobe. What are your thoughts about this?

  11. Average2Ace

    I have been wondering about gaining advantage of others willpower. If for example, I have to make a presentation about my project and being scored by my professor in front of the class. Should I volunteered first or wait until my turn (hoped for the last turn)

  12. G -aro

    i would explain how it is prosperous for you channel to use pop up adds to link to your videos but i wont you may look it up what it dose in the long run for you channel

  13. Joom joom Long silver

    Look how many people have watched this vid compared to the first one! We are the 1 in 10 that will conquer our addictions!!!!!

  14. Kristina S

    A poor study… no breakfast is the best option for alertness provided that you are not a sugar junkie. Problem is… most people are sugar junkies. Cool course though. Lots of useful snippets. Thank you.

  15. Nemoian Paw

    Thank you. I am really understanding this and can see how these things work on me. I am really excited about it. I feel like this will help me accelerate my life in a way that’s easy to actually take action on. I feel I could have wasted a lot of time trying to figure out “what’s wrong with me” so that I could then change my lifestyle. Like childhood issues etc. A lot of trauma that keeps me depressed and doing the same old things. Like if I could heal my wounds I could change. But this starting with the actions is the way. I mean I guess I would be interested in just how my coping mechanisms keep me clinging to unhealthy relationships and bad habits would be useful. But I kind of prefer the bypass method. I just want to move forward. And it’s the habits that I still have that keep me stuck. Like you said keystones. Gracias!!
    bless you sir may your days be filled with happiness.

  16. Russell Keyes

    Ego depletion is a fabrication. A meta analysis of ego depletion studies found no, or even an opposite correlation. You have infinite willpower if you're aware of it

  17. Shane Miller

    I’m seeing a lot of hate and support on these videos in the comment section. I think applying these “motivational tactics” like intermittent fasting vs eating breakfast every morning is like choosing a diet. Some diets work better for others. You just have to choose what works best for you. I like what this guy is talking about, I’m looking at “willpower” as energy, and the idea or depleting and recharging your batteries makes plenty of sense to me. I’m going to try meditation as I have a hard time turning my brain off.
    Cue: brushing my teeth
    High bar: 15 min
    Low bar: 2 min
    Reward: yummy eggs however I want them that morning!

    Thank you improvement pill! I’m starting a new business and am having many terrible late nights wondering if I’ll be successful and I think your advice is going to put me on the right track

  18. SnowBoomer

    I never stop thinking but it is very different from worrying. Also, I have no trouble relaxing… So am I a special breed?

  19. AncientHunter101

    In other videos you talk about intermediate fasting, singling out the 8 to 12 routine. But here in this video you say those who skip breakfast perform the worst. Very conflicting information.

  20. Giancarlos Rosales

    I have a bad habit of just being on my phone at work because I'm at a gas which is often slow. I get bord and watch I interesting videos. How can I stop this habit. I've noticed I don't feel well from so much screen time. I rather sit there and study when there are no customers, but of course that get a tiring after a while if it's a slow day.

  21. irrevenant3

    What if you have a meat pancake? Serious question, that's essentially what I just had for lunch: Chicken, cheese, onion, eggs, self-raising flour. Technically it's a fritter rather than a pancake, but same basic ingredients…

  22. Dan Cenow

    This video was brought to you by the American Egg Board.
    Jokes aside, oatmeal is a great low-glycemic food that also won't make you die of a heart disease some years down the line.

  23. Pepe

    Ego depletion/a limit on your willpower is only a theory. Many argue that willpower can be unlimited.
    4:34 students who didnt eat their breakfast performed bad maybe because they are not used to that? Because many people who do fasting and eating mostly at the end of the day say they perform better on mental tasks during daytime.
    4:20 ''low glycemic foods like eggs'' eggs dont have any glycemic value because it doesnt has carbohydrates.

  24. Dishmi siri

    You are the most amazing human I have ever come across….I am so happy and glad that you made this amazing information free….usually people would make use of this and try to earn money buy getting people to buy the course…but you made it free so everyone could learn to improve themselves…thank you so much hope you continue….people like you are rare…thanks this is amazing

  25. Leon Lam - Unlock Your Potential

    Has anyone here built the habit of meditation that is willing to share the significant changes in their life?

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