It’s been a month since I started my Re Human experiment (improving in 15 different areas at a time). I’ve experienced an interesting phenomenon that I think can be explained by the following hypothesis I’m forming:
Diversifying your activities lowers the probability of depleting your willpower.
I believe motivation is highly correlated with progress — if you’re seeing progress in something, you get motivated. If you’re stuck and can’t see a possibility of progressing, you’re de-motivated. For example, I have found it hard to get started on music production whenever it’s “music production” days because I hadn’t been seeing much progress, even though it’s one of the areas I most want to improve on! Our minds are smart and probably evolved into creating this mechanism to not pursue pointless/impossible things.
But this hypothesis of how motivation works might explain a phenomenon I’ve experienced:
By diversifying the activities / areas I’m working on, there’s less chance that I’m completely stuck and don’t feel progress at all. If I were only working on one thing and I get stuck, it would be hard to keep pushing through because I’m not seeing any progress. But because I have 15 different areas that I’m working on, there’s a much higher chance that in a couple of them I’m feeling progress and thus gain will-power — I have 15 different possible sources instead of one.
This is where some of the seemingly pointless areas, such as “soccer trick juggling” have actually turned out to be super useful. I can physically feel getting better at juggling and doing tricks, thus giving me a dose of will-power every day — just by doing 10mins every day.