Evidently, declaring intention by hand writing will tend to make the declared action happen for people more often than just typing it, or saying it as a commitment, as a brain science fact.
I know this is a true feature of training oneself through practice or training an animal, (or in advertising or propaganda.) Whatever gets repeated tends to develop and expand. Whatever gets dismissed tends to die off as a behavior.
“Don’t confuse me with facts when I’ve made up my mind” is both an effective denial of distraction and a dismaying close-mindedness. Remember teachers putting the misbehaving kid in front of the chalkboard & making them repeatedly write, “I will...blah, blah blah.” as punishment?
This feature would also be why making a “vision board” of what it is you imagine would be possible makes your desires become more real. As you assemble the images where you imagine and conceive of how your wishes could happen, you're able to make this come true.
In “Six Thinking Hats,” thinking skills, the yellow hat is called the “Logical Positive.” Taking the time to run through a list of logical reasons about the advantages of pursuing a course of action (as I’ve been doing here) creates motivating, creative momentum. This brain science feature even works better if you declare it to others. Since we're using a Six Hat Thinking skill, let’s now wear the red hat for a bit, so I can talk about how I feel about this brain science fact.
I don’t like it. I seem to be wired in reverse! For me, if I declare my intention – I will fight and resist! If I make a list of things to do, the first thing I will do is something that is NOT on the list. Hearing what someone else is going to do can get reactions from me, ranging from suspicions of self-delusion to total sarcasm. I wonder how they’re lying and find myself reciting a litany of challenges and objections that I would say to myself to discourage myself from disappointment. Cutting off options too soon seems to me to be a pathway to regrets.
Yet, given no choice, I’ll work hard to get around limitations, to design a way through that is uniquely tailored to my specific situation and needs. What gives?
My old friend Conrad used to make decisions far in advance. He would get going on the pathway of a decision having been made much earlier than I would because he was certain what he wanted. (I’m seldom certain.) Other factors yet to be uncovered might change my mind up until the last moment to decide, and I liked this. Which meant that I didn’t get a long very well with Conrad if we were making decisions together. From watching Conrad, he made me realize that I tend to wait until a situation would “ripen” so I could identify when a decision HAD to be made at the last moment before it got decided by default. These factors influencing decisions might need time to uncover variables that aren’t obvious on the front end of possibilities.
But – I have learned from cognitive bias insights that the longer someone spends considering options, the more they imagine they might have made the wrong choice! A sense of “rightness” grows on people once decisions have been made. Entering into a decision that cannot be rescinded means you find a way to accommodate it and learn to improve it. Why would I imagine that not having options means suffering?
I just find it distasteful that this is true for most people, and could be true for me. A good example is arranged marriages. Socially, it’s been shown arranged marriages work better to minimize divorce rates. But the whole idea of having your spouse chosen for me is...completely freaky.
I’ve also seen this same factor happen in reverse when it comes to people who feel it’s “progressive” to talk about suicide. Too often they end up killing themselves because they come to view suicide as a fifty-percent possible “option.” It upsets me when I can see them thinking as if the other “options” involving living only occupy the remaining fifty percent...when I know that percentage amount of possible option is probably more like ninety-eight...after all, we all have to die anyway!
Ok, so let’s try these brain science facts for myself and I’ll report on effectiveness. I've read that it doesn’t work to type these resolutions; it only works to write them out by hand. To give this a really tricky test, I’ll write about how I just love various forms of exercising. (Which should be a good test, because I usually act as if flailing around physically is a useless way to spend my time.) I’m doing this in hopes that it will get me over the hurdle of actually exercising more often - which is supposed to increase our brain abilities. You know, we aren't just meat puppets, only existing to carry our brains around, right?