North Americans lacking when it comes to self control: Study
From a coterie of self-sufficient farmers and thrifty merchants, the United States has evolved into a country where people not only want more than they have but generally want more than is good for them.
So says Daniel Akst, in his new book We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess.
It's an interesting treatise on how Americans (don’t gloat; Canadians fare almost as poorly) have slowly become consumers who simply don't know when to stop — even though their habits are bad for their health, finances, and the planet they live on.
Akst estimates that overeating, smoking, unprotected sex, drinking too much alcohol and similar excesses contribute to close to half of the deaths every year in the U.S.
But while humans are evolutionarily geared to crave immediate gratification, we can learn tricks to avoid self-sabotage.
“A lot of the behavior we call addiction is really a love of pleasure that carries the force of habit,” he maintains. “If we hold ourselves responsible for our behavior — none of which is entirely voluntary — we are more likely to consciously direct our actions rather than succumbing to impulse.”
Instead, he suggests, think ahead. Know when and where you're likely to lose control.
Rather than succumb to temptation, set up roadblocks, either by hiding credit cards or setting up commitment contracts with third parties like stickK.com, a site that allows you to make a legally binding agreement to do (or not do) a certain thing.
If you fail — and you can appoint a referee to decide — then you forfeit the money, which the site will give to a friend or cause you've chosen.
Are you the consummate consumer? Have you made any attempts to cut back? How are things working out?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: No | Aug 28, 2021 3:36:29 PM
I've always had control of money, food, environment. I'm happy. Most of my friends often ask how I do it. When I tell them they don't really need what they want or that it's bad for them, they tell me they would rather die from the result of satisfying their wants than to restrict and live without.
Posted by: Steve | Sep 10, 2021 1:05:24 AM
Rest assured that if you have self control you will invaribly marry someone completely lacking in self control. Even if you remain single, the influences remain, go out to a restaurant and order a small meal with 'the typical' beverage and you will see that it will won't arrive under 700 calories. Drive down the road at 10% below the speed limit and watch traffic 'support' you, etc, etc, etc. Claim what responsibility you wish, but remember we live in a world with others.