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Twofer Tuesday: On Willpower & Mindfulness

twofer-500x500Willpower and mindfulness are two hot topics in today’s demanding, often overwhelming, world. But are we really using them to their full advantage — and to ours? This week’s Twofers explore both those issues, challenging common assumptions about the power of the will and the mind.

The Power of Will vs. Won’t

Have you ever finished a hard day’s work (or a hard workout), only to reward yourself with a pat on the back and an evening of vegging out (or noshing on anything but veggies)? If so, you may have let yourself off the hook too easily. This Harvard Business Review article reveals that we might be underestimating our own willpower — and limiting our ability to deliver what we’re truly capable of.

Read: Have We Been Thinking about Willpower the Wrong Way for 30 Years?

A Mindful Choice: Living Outside the Moment

From spiritual gurus and pop psychologists to corporate leaders and even investment bankers, a wide range of advisers has embraced the merits of mindfulness. But with so much emphasis on living in the now, there’s a risk of overlooking our inherently human ability to imagine and think abstractly, to reflect on the past and dream about the future.

Could it be that we’ve given too much credit to mindfulness?

“What differentiates humans from animals is exactly this ability to step mentally outside of whatever is happening to us right now, and to assign it context and significance. Our happiness does not come so much from our experiences themselves, but from the stories we tell ourselves that make them matter.”

Read: Actually, Let’s Not Be in the Moment

Psst: Have you joined our Tools for the Time-Crunched Manager LinkedIn group? It’s designed to inspire and help you conquer the day-to-day challenges of your workday.

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