The secret to self control Jonathan Bricker TEDxRainier
Let me tell you about my mom. My mom was 42 years old when I was born, and she started exercising for the first time in her life. She started by running around the block, and then she started doing 5K races, and then she started doing 10K races. And after that, she ran a marathon, and after that, my mom did a triathlon. By the time she was 57 years old,.
My mom was trekking uphill to the base camp of Mt. Everest. (Laughter) And let me tell you about my dad. (Laughter) When I was a kid, my dad used to take me to science classes. He was also my calculus teacher in high school. (Laughter) I wanted to crawl under the desk.
(Laughter) I learned something important from my mom: The value of health. And I learned something important from my dad: the value of science. And these two values have guided me on my trek through life, and they’ve helped me appreciate an epidemic that we are all facing. And it’s not Ebola.
Instead, it is the epidemic of unhealthy living. A half billion people worldwide are obese. And you would think that 50 years after the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report on the dangers of tobacco was published we’d be beyond the problem of smoking. Today, a billion people worldwide use tobacco. Tobacco and obesity are two of the most preventable causes of premature death. Solving these problems is like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle.
We engage in unhealthy behaviors because of our genetics, because of brain neurotransmitters, because of environmental influences such as peers and the media. Each of those pieces of the puzzle are not things that you and I can solve on our own. But there is one piece of this puzzle that may hold the key: Our choices about what we do with our cravings to engage in addictive behaviors like smoking or overeating.
Our choices. There is a new science of selfcontrol that may hold the key to reversing these epidemics. It’s called willingness. Willingness means allowing your cravings to come and to go, while not acting on them by smoking or eating unhealthy. But actually, I’m not talking about willpower, and I’m not talking about quot;power through your cravings.quot;.
Instead, I’m talking about a different notion of cravings that looks like this: dropping the struggle with your cravings. Opening up to them, letting them be there, and making peace with them. Now at this point you may be very skeptical. (Laughter) I was when I first heard about it years ago.